The Brighton i360 tower came ‘out of the ground’ this week as the first four cans of 17 were successfully lifted into place and the chassis for the glass pod was installed, bringing the tower to just over 28 metres high a week after the steel cans were delivered onto the beach.
Said Eleanor Harris, chief executive of Brighton i360, “It is exciting to see the i360 taking shape so quickly. All the planning has paid off and the team are making great progress and we are already ahead of schedule and on track to complete the tower by September.”
Last week saw the arrival of the first six giant steel cans, which will eventually form the i360’s 162-metre tower, and the three sections of the jacking frame, which will make the construction possible. They arrived by barge last Thursday and Friday before being lifted onto the site earlier this week.
The first can, weighing in at around 80 tonnes, was lifted over the public footpath which dissects the construction site (and was temporarily closed) at around 9.30am on Monday.
The team of expert engineers gently lowered the can into place and fixed it to the existing floor fittings in the attraction’s concrete foundations. The anchor bolt frame, which is cased in 4,500 tonnes of concrete, is fixed to the first can by 72 holding down bolts. Once finished, the tower will be held together by a total of 1,336 bolts of varying sizes.
The second can was then manoeuvred into place and fixed to the top of the first one, ahead of schedule, before the pod chassis was lifted onto site and lowered over both fixed cans.
The distinctive red pod chassis is what the glass viewing pod will be fitted to once the tower is finished. When completed, the viewing pod will be around 18 metres in diameter and be able to carry up to 200 people. It will weigh 93 tonnes, including the 20 tonne chassis already in place, and be able to carry a passenger load of up to 15 tonnes.
Work is currently running ahead of schedule and timings are subject to change, but the next pair of cans are due to be fitted today and the second piece of jacking frame is then due to lifted and fitted into place on Friday.
The next (and final) barge – carrying the remaining steel cans – is due to arrive in the sea directly alongside the i360 site in the early hours of next Tuesday June 23, with an estimated arrival time of around 2.30-3am to coincide with high tide.
Said Eleanor Harris, “Next week’s beach landings should be even more spectacular than the first one with 11 steel cans being unloaded on Brighton beach on Tuesday 23 June and Wednesday 24 June. The best time to view will be in the morning and lunchtime, or on our web cam.”
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Brighton i360 is conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects.
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About Brighton i360
At 162 metres high, and with an observation pod rising to 138 metres, the i360 will be the tallest observation tower outside London, a vertical cable car offering a new perspective on the fun loving seaside city of Brighton. Sited at the root end of the historic West Pier on Brighton’s seafront, the i360 has a slender, elegant design, with a futuristic pod allowing 200 visitors at a time to enjoy the surrounding view as it slowly unfolds. The visitor centre incorporates a 400 seat restaurant; a shop; children’s play zone; exhibition space; tea rooms; and conference and event facilities.