PASADENA, Calif.--Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (NYSE:JEC) has joined celebrations to mark the launch of British Airways i360, a unique visitor attraction that opens on Brighton seafront in the United Kingdom on August 4. Jacobs was the engineer and project manager for construction of the attraction, which was conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects.
At 162 meters tall and 3.9 meters wide, British Airways i360 is the world’s tallest moving observation tower and is recognized by Guinness World Records as the most slender tower. The tower incorporates a futuristic glass viewing pod that glides up to a height of 138 meters, providing 360-degree views of up to 26 miles of the south coast of England.
Throughout the project, Jacobs provided engineering design, project management, construction design management coordination and inspection services. The company also provided technical planning support during the early stages of the project’s development for aspects such as traffic, noise and environmental impact.
Commenting on the official opening, Jacobs Buildings and Infrastructure Senior Vice President Bob Duff stated, “We are absolutely delighted to be closely associated with this unique engineering structure and visitor attraction. Jacobs was part of the team that designed and built the London Eye, still the UK's most popular paid-for visitor attraction 16 years after its opening. That same team of architects, engineers and contractors have blended creativity with advanced technology and capability to create British Airways i360. We’re tremendously proud of the team and our role in the project.”
Mark Barfield Architects Director David Marks added, “British Airways i360 is the result of a fantastic example of European cooperation. The team includes many key individuals and firms we worked with on the London Eye, and it has been our privilege over the past twelve years to see the commitment, determination and enterprise with which they have turned the designs and plans into reality.
“Located at the landward end of the West Pier on Brighton beach, British Airways i360 is a modern-day ‘vertical pier’ whose 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. Just as the original pier welcomed Victorian society to ‘walk on water’ and gain a new perspective on the city and its setting between the land and the sea, we invite visitors to ‘walk on air.’”
The tower features uniquely designed ‘sloshing liquid dampers’ and a perforated cladding system, which together help prevent wind-induced vibrations. Advanced technology was also adopted for the passenger pod to meet high safety and reliability standards and help maximize passenger comfort and enjoyment.
The architects and engineers also worked with the West Pier Trust to rebuild two of the original West Pier toll booths using Victorian building techniques. The re-built buildings now grace the entrance to British Airways i360. Each ‘flight’ on the tower carries up to 200 visitors at a time, and the attraction’s visitor center incorporates a restaurant, a gift shop and conference and event facilities.
Jacobs’ chief engineer on the project, Dr. John Roberts, said, “The engineering design for British Airways i360 is underpinned by innovation, experience and expertise, and results from the effective collaboration of engineers from Britain, France and the Netherlands, with further important contributions from Australia, Italy and Spain.
“With the planned program of school and student visits and activities based around the project, I am confident the achievements incorporated in British Airways i360 will interest and excite young people and encourage many of them to pursue a career in engineering.”
Jacobs is one of the world’s largest and most diverse providers of full-spectrum technical, professional and construction services for industrial, commercial and government organizations globally. The company employs 60,000 people and operates in more than 30 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.jacobs.com.
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About British Airways i360
British Airways i360 is conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects, creators of the London Eye. With an overall height of 162m, and an observation pod that rises from ground level to 138m above Brighton beach, British Airways i360 is the world’s tallest moving observation tower. Each ‘flight’ will carry up to 200 visitors at a time to enjoy unprecedented views across Brighton and Hove, the South Downs and beautiful south coast. While onboard, guests can enjoy a drink at the Nyetimber Sky Bar, serving a range of drinks from Sussex producers including Nyetimber, an award-winning sparkling wine producer. At beach level is the stylish Belle Vue restaurant with sea views and a large terrace, serving delicious food from the region. The West Pier Tea Room is housed in a reconstructed tollbooth based on the original tollbooths built in 1866. The British Airways i360 shop includes gifts and souvenirs, many created by local Brighton artists.
British Airways i360 holds the Guinness World Record for the World’s Most Slender Tower, with a diameter of just 3.9 meters at its widest point.
British Airways i360 has worked with the West Pier Trust to reconstruct two of the original West Pier tollbooths using Victorian building techniques. The reconstructed buildings now grace the entrance to British Airways i360, and will house the West Pier Tea Room and ticket office.
About Marks Barfield Architects
David Marks and Julia Barfield are the architect-entrepreneurs behind the creation of Brighton i360. They founded the company in 2005 and are its majority shareholders. Previously they performed a similar role creating the London Eye where they remained shareholders and directors until 2006. Together with a tight-knit group of extraordinary individuals, trusted consultants and companies, many of whom worked with David and Julia at the London Eye, they secured the planning permission, partners, land and funding for British Airways i360. Marks Barfield Architects is one of the UK’s most versatile and innovative architecture practices, established in 1989. David and Julia chair the British Airways i360 board.
About British Airways
British Airways is one of the world’s leading global premium airlines and the UK’s largest international scheduled airline, carrying approximately 35 million passengers worldwide annually, on around 800 daily flights. The airline employs around 40,000 people, the vast majority of these at its sites throughout the UK, and has an annual turnover of £8.5 billion. It employs 2,500 people in Sussex, several hundred of them in Brighton.
David Marks and Julia Barfield, architect-entrepreneurs behind British Airways i360
Dr. John Roberts, chief engineer of British Airways i360
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