Brighton, a bustling seaside town on Britain's south coast, an hour's train ride from London, has just opened what it claims is the world's tallest observation tower.
Soaring above the beach, the British Airways i360 tower is 162 metres high, with a doughnut-shaped mobile glass observation pod that slides up and down a slender central column. The pod can hold up to 200 people, hauling them to a height of 138 metres, from where a stunning 360 degree panorama takes in the English Channel -- as far as the coast of France on a clear day -- and the rolling countryside of the South Downs hills.
The designers, David Marks and Julia Barfield of Marks Barfield Architects, call it ' a vertical cable car ', and state-of-the-art cable car technology is used to drive the pod up and down, tapping gravity to generate energy on its descent.
The tower has a perforated aluminium cladding that reduces the buffeting effect of strong winds by letting air flow directly through it. Dampers secure the tower and aerodynamically-shaped pod against vibrations.
The project is part of an ambitious programme to regenerate the seafront of Brighton, which took a hit in 2003 when the town's West Pier, once a famous tourist attraction, was destroyed in a fire. Its rusting remains still poke from the waves a few metres from the new tower. Promoted as ' a walk on air ', the tower responds to the ' walk on water ' slogan which was used during the Victorian era to popularise the West Pier when it was built in 1866. Eleven years in the making, from design to realisation, it has been recognised by Guinness World Records as the world's most slender tower.
Marks and Barfield are a celebrity designer couple who also co-created the ' London Eye ' or Millennium Wheel, Europe's tallest ferris wheel, which has become the most popular tourist attraction in the UK. Still, the Brighton tower has not been built without local protest -- especially because of its £47 million cost. One critic has called it ' a sort of bonker's outsize flagpole '.
by Claudia Barbieri
翱翔在海滩，英航i360塔高162米，有甜甜圈形移动玻璃观察舱上下滑动的细长的中心柱。该舱可以容纳200人，将他们带到一个138米的高度，从惊人的360度全景看英吉利海峡 - 法国海岸线在晴朗的日子 - 和农村的南丘陵丘。
设计师 David Marks 和菲尔德建筑师 Julia Barfield，称之为 “垂直缆车”，缆车和最先进的技术是用重力产生的能量驱动舱上下。
该项目是雄心勃勃的计划的一部分，再生布莱顿海滨，在2003时受打击，该镇的西码头，曾经有一个著名的旅游景点，毁于一场大火。其锈蚀仍然戳从波从新塔几米。英航i360塔响应了 “在水上行走” 的口号，1866年，在维多利亚时代用来推广西码头建成。十一年的工程，从设计到实现，它已经被爱尔兰啤酒世界纪录确认为世界上最细的塔。
Marks 和 Barfield 是著名设计师夫妇，还共同设计了 欧洲最高的摩天轮 “伦敦之眼” 或被称为 "千禧之轮"，这已成为最受欢迎的英国旅游景点。不过，布赖顿塔还没有建没有地方抗议 - 尤其是因为它的4700万英镑成本。一位评论家称这是 “一种向庞大的旗杆" 。
由 Claudia Barbieri 所著的文章