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London Eye team reunited for 165m-high Brighton tower

Jacobs and the team responsible for building the London Eye have been appointed to manage the construction of the Brighton i360 observation tower.

The 165m-high tower will be the tallest visitor observation attraction in the UK outside of London. It is described as a “vertical pier” and is being erected on the sea front at the site of Brighton’s old West Pier.

The i360  features moving passenger pod that travels up the tower and provides 360° views.

Brighton i360 Tower

The project will incorporate the restoration of some of the original pier, including the Victorian tollbooths. Parts of the cast iron supporting structure will be reused in the new visitor centre and an exhibition will enable visitors to learn about the pier’s history. The cast iron structure offshore, known as the sea island, will not be affected - but the wreckage of the derelict pier on the beach will be removed.

Jacobs is providing engineering design, project management, construction design management (CDM) coordination, and inspection body services.

The originators and designers of Brighton i360 are husband and wife team, David Marks and Julia Barfield of Marks Barfield Architects. They conceived and designed the London Eye.

Dr John Roberts designed the Brighton i360. He was the London Eye’s principal engineer and is also director of operations for the UK Buildings business of Jacobs UK.

Brighton i360 Tower

The steelwork will be erected by Hollandia, who built the London Eye’s steel structure. Hollandia is the Netherlands’ largest steelwork supplier.

The civil engineering contractor will be Mackley, a long-established local firm based in Shoreham-by-Sea.

French company Poma will manufacture the i360 pod and ride computer. Poma built the London Eye capsules and ride computer, and is Europe’s largest cable car and ski lift manufacturer.

The tower will be operated by I-Xperience, headed by former London Eye commercial director Eleanor Harris.

Jacobs Group vice president Bob Duff said: “We are very pleased to be back working with this creative and highly skilled team to deliver the Brighton i360, which is expected to result in a truly unique and inspiring tourism experience in Brighton.”

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