General News

Brighton i360 construction team starts on site

Besi Besemar June 25, 2014

The international team who created the London Eye were reunited on Brighton seafront as they prepare to build the Brighton i360, the tallest visitor observation attraction in the UK outside of London, designed by architects Marks Barfield.

i360 construction team

Local firms including civil contractor JT Mackley, based just outside Brighton, and Hemsley Orrell Partnership (HOP), based in Hove, bring their local and marine engineering experience to the team, which comprises contractors Jacobs Engineering Group Inc (Jacobs), Hollandia from Holland, Poma from France and Marks Barfield architects from London.

They participated in a construction planning meeting at the Hilton Brighton Metropole, gearing up to start construction of the Brighton i360 this week.

The i360 passenger pod is 18 metres in diameter and has a capacity of up to 200 people at a time. The viewing pod will provide a 360 degree view through curved glass and will travel smoothly up from street level up to 138 metres above sea level before returning to beach level. With an aspect ratio of 40:1 (height to girth), the tower is a feat of cutting edge engineering combined with innovative technology and design to create the futuristic visitor attraction on the Brighton seafront.


The engineering structure, which is in effect a vertical cable car, was designed by Jacobs, a global provider of technical professional and construction services with experience in major leisure facility projects, including visitor attractions and passenger carrying rides. Jacobs and local engineering firm HOP will manage the project.

Main contractor Hollandia, who built the London Eye structure, will be responsible for the construction and erection of the steel tower in sections named ‘cans’. The tower will be constructed by jacking up each steel ‘can’, placing the next underneath until the full height of the tower is reached. This method of erection is less weather dependent than using tall cranes. The steel ‘cans’ for the tower will be transported by sea and arrive on Brighton Beach in spring to early summer 2015.

Poma, who built the 32 London Eye capsules, is a French company which manufactures cable-driven lift systems, including funiculars, aerial tramways, people movers, and surface lifts. They are responsible for the construction of the i360 pod, which will be large enough to contain 200 visitors with a birds eye view standing side by side.

The Brighton i360 will create a moving observation tower experience incorporating a restaurant, retail shop, exhibition space and conference facilities at beach level. The attraction will be run by Brighton i360 Ltd, who’s CEO is tourism expert Eleanor Harris.

David Marks and Julia Barfield, creators of the Brighton i360 and the London Eye, said: “We have the opportunity to create something truly unique and of international renown here in Brighton and Hove. We are excited to be working again with this top team and we are all look forward to seeing the opening of the attraction in summer 2016.”