The 165m-high tower will carry passengers – up to 200 at a time – in a giant pod from bottom to top. It will be the tallest visitor observation attraction in the UK outside of London.
Effectively a vertical cable car, the pod will be elevated to a height of more than 137m, providing 360 degree views.
The i360 is described as a ‘vertical pier’ and is being erected on the sea front at the site of Brighton’s old West Pier. It 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.
The Brighton i360 is designed, engineered, manufactured and promoted by the team responsible for the London Eye. 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.
It will be operated by I-Xperience, headed by former London Eye commercial director Eleanor Harris.
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.
Under the terms of its contract, announced yesterday, Jacobs is providing engineering design, project management, construction design management (CDM) coordination, and inspection body services.
The civil engineering contractor will be Mackley, a long-established local firm based in Shoreham-by-Sea.
The 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.
Jacobs Group vice president Bob Duff said the project was “expected to result in a truly unique and inspiring tourism experience in Brighton”.