Prince Philip has officially opened the Brighton i360, the world’s first vertical cable car, in Brighton.
While the cable car has been in operation since August 4th, the official opening took place in Brighton on 28th October 2016, when Prince Philip unveiled a plaque and signed the Visitors’ Book. The i360 was conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects, creators of the London Eye and with an overall height of 162m and an observation pod that rises from ground level to 138m above Brighton beach is a fantastic piece of British Engineering.
David Marks, Chairman of British Airways i360, said: “Everyone who has been involved in the project is deeply honoured that His Royal Highness will be opening British Airways i360. We are very proud of the design and engineering that have been achieved at British Airways i360 and look forward to showcasing this new landmark to His Royal Highness.”
He continued: “Built at the landward end of Brighton’s historic West Pier, British Airways i360 is a modern day ‘vertical pier’ that gives a new perspective on the city. Its purpose is simply to delight, entertain and inspire. Its design, engineering and method of construction are innovative, just as the West Pier was in its time. And just as the original pier invited Victorian society to ‘walk on water’, so British Airways i360 invites visitors to ‘walk on air’”.
If Prince Philip isn’t enough to get you excited about the i360, these six i360 facts might?
- The i360 is the most slender tower in the world – it has an aspect ratio of 41.15:1 (The BT Tower has an aspect ratio of 8:1)
- The i360 is tall but it isn’t the tallest – its spire takes it to a soaring 170m, but the sharp is 306m.
- What goes up – while the towers height might be impressive, its foundations are not insubstantial, dropping 20m below street level and made from 4,150 tonnes of concrete.
- It is the same size(ish) as a taxi – a London cab measures 4.58m from front-to-rear, the i360’s tower (with cladding) is 4.6m wide. However, it’s viewing pod is near double the size of the London Eyes pods (with a diameter of 18m).
- The tower isn’t straight – while it was built to a tolerance of six inches it actually ended up leaning four inches towards Regency Square.
- Finally, at 94 tonnes the i360 pod outweighs 52,222 of Brighton’s native seagulls.