Brighton, England is getting ready to give the people what they came for. According to Marks Barfield Architects, a giant glass and steel donut-shaped pod that will transport people up and down a 530-foot pole officially completed installation yesterday and is undergoing tests before it opens this summer. It’s called the British Airways i360 tower, and it’s revolutionizing the way people can view the English seaside resort town in its entirety.
The British Airways i360 tower will offer panoramic views of the English channel and coastal Sussex, up to 26 miles in all directions, from 450 feet off the ground. According to Dezeen, the only thing standing between humans and this immaculate view of Brighton is a series of tests that will ensure everything is running smoothly and safely. It is described as the “world’s tallest moving observation tower,” and is the skinniest, stretching only 12 feet at its widest point. The tower will also include a visitor’s center, a 400-person restaurant, an exhibition gallery, and spaces to hold conferences and other events.
The architects helming the new tower in Brighton are no strangers to getting people hundreds of feet off the ground to get a better view: David Marks and his partner Julia Barfield also designed the London Eye ferris wheel. The British Airways i360 tower pushes height and amount of passengers accommodated to a new extreme, though. The view from 450 feet surpasses the London Eye’s 443-feet view, and the 60-feet wide pod, which can hold up to 200 people at a time, is nearly 10 times bigger than the individual London Eye capsules.
The Marks Barfield Architects firm first drew up plans for the British Airways i360 tower in 2005, but the 2008 global financial crisis temporarily halted the project. A loan from the UK’s debt management office made it possible to resurrect the plan in 2014, however. After the routine tests are carried out, people will get to see Brighton like never before.