The Brighton i360 tower reached a major milestone today as the last bolt was inserted to hold the top steel can in place, completing the 162 metre tall tower just ten weeks after the cans arrived on Brighton beach.
The final bolts were inserted by two apprentices working on the construction site at a small ceremony attended by architects of the Brighton i360, David Marks and Julia Barfield, and officers from Brighton & Hove City Council, who held a minute’s silence to honour the families affected by the Shoreham Air Show tragedy this weekend.
In early August the tower became the tallest structure in Sussex and now it is well on the way to becoming the world’s tallest moving observation tower, when it opens to the public next summer.
Dutch company, Hollandia, has been leading the construction of the tower. The first seven cans were lifted into place with a giant crane, before being bolted together; and the remaining ten cans inserted at the bottom with the cans above lifted up using a special ‘jacking tower’.
Said David Marks, Architect and Chairman of Brighton i360: “This is a breathtaking feat of engineering and a major milestone achieved for the project. I am excited by both the dazzling slenderness of the tower and the amazing way it has been built – in record time. It is an outstanding achievement, and I hope it will inspire a new generation to pursue design and engineering.”
Said Julia Barfield, Architect and Director of Brighton i360: “We started on this journey ten years ago. It is astonishing to see a project that has taken so long to get to this point has gone up in just ten weeks. All credit due to the engineers and the construction team.”
Said Eleanor Harris, CEO of Brighton i360 Ltd, “This has been a flawless precision operation, which has gone without a hitch, and the engineering team have done a fantastic job. It has been fascinating to watch the construction take place – especially when the tower has been ‘levitating’ during the jacking operation, attracting crowds on Brighton beach.
Said Dr John Roberts, Operational Director of Jacobs and Director of Brighton i360: “Jacobs’ primary focus on this project was to design a tower structure that could be erected safely. We are proud that this was accomplished ahead of programme, which is a great achievement and a testament to both the designers and the contractors working in partnership together.”
The next major moment in the construction will be when work starts on building the giant observation pod, which will be big enough to carry up to 200 passengers. Segments of the glass pod, which has been designed and built by leading cable car designers POMA, are expected to arrive in Brighton in October and then work will begin on the beach buildings, to create a stunning new events and visitor centre and restaurant.
Said Nardo Hoogendijk, Managing Director of main contractor Hollandia Infra: “This is a project we really like. It fits into our portfolio perfectly. This is because there is so much innovation in it, so many activities that have never been done before. Besides the technical side, this project is special because of the fantastic spirit of cooperation. Getting a project like this, based on good relationships is amazing. Now, after just one year of hard work by our team we have reached the highest point of the tower, just ten weeks after the beach landing. This is what me makes proud, proud of the people who did it.”
Neal Mardon, Hollandia’s project manager at the i360, said: “The construction of the tower has been very successful and very quick too. It’s gained a great deal of public and media attention, which we feel very proud of. To complete this stage is a huge milestone and while there is still a long way to go I am looking forward to working with Poma and Mackley on the next phases of construction.”
Said Dick Russell, one of the directors of Brighton i360 Ltd who has been involved from the start of the project, “I am enormously impressed by Hollandia’s skill in fabricating this unique and very complex structure, landing the parts on the beach and assembling and erecting the tower on schedule; and all the more creditable given the very unseasonal Brighton weather with which they have had to contend over recent weeks.”
National and international interest in the Brighton i360 is building, with film crews and magazines visiting to find out more from all over the world. The attraction remains well on track to open next summer.
– Ends –
Media enquiries: Paula Seager, Natural PR on Tel: 01273 857242 or Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brighton i360 is conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects.
About Brighton i360
At 162 metres high, and with an observation pod rising to 450 feet, 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.