Last week, Marks Barfield Architects, architects for the Brighton i360 were in France, visiting the Poma-Sigma factory near Lyon. They went to see the i360 glass passenger pod under construction. Entirely handmade, the glass pod is already a striking structure.
David Marks, Architect and Chairman of Brighton i360 Ltd said:
“Poma’s glazed pod looks remarkably light, and although still being trial assembled at the factory, you can already see that it will soon become a perfect liquid bubble that 200 people will be able to inhabit as it slowly rises in the sky over Brighton and Hove. The glass is so good, and the assembly so skillful, you have to pinch yourself to realise it is all handmade.”
Poma, who built the 32 London Eye capsules, are the French company tasked with manufacturing the i360 glass passenger pod or ‘vertical cable car’. A second chassis has been built for the purpose of a trial assembly at the Poma-Sigma factory, in order to check the i360 pod is in perfect working order before making its journey to Brighton.
The real chassis, is already attached to the the i360 tower – it is the red ring currently around the base of the tower. This red chassis was put in place before building the tower as it would have been impossible to lift it on after the i360 tower was built.
“Even partially finished the pod takes the breath away – sitting as it does between fields of Maize and rows of ski capsules- like a transport from another world.
Julia Barfield, Architect and Director of Brighton i360 said:
“Even partially finished the pod takes the breath away – sitting as it does between fields of Maize and rows of ski capsules- like a transport from another world. The filigree fineness of the structure, the captivating playfulness of the mirror underside and the almost fluid quality of the glass will undoubtedly exceed all expectation.”
The fully enclosed aerodynamically shaped futuristic glass viewing pod is spacious at 10 times the size of a London Eye capsule and has the capacity to hold up to 200 people at a time. At 18 metres in diameter there is plenty of space to move around and see the view from different angles. It also means we will be able to host parties and groups for events at the Brighton i360
Onboard the Brighton i360 Passenger Pod
Travelling from street level (Kings Road) up to 138 metres, the viewing pod will provide a 360 degree view through curved glass, before returning to beach level. Due to improvements in glass technology, the glass used has a much higher specification (compared to the glass used in the London Eye) meaning the need for less air conditioning and ensuring that even in wet weather conditions, the pod can’t steam up.
Among its other features, the i360 passenger pod will be heated and air-conditioned, is fully accessible for wheelchair users, has bench seating for passengers and will also house the unique Brighton i360 Sky Bar.
a perfect liquid bubble that 200 people will be able to inhabit as it slowly rises in the sky over Brighton and Hove
What’s Next in the Construction of the Brighton i360?
The next key project milestone is the completion of the concrete frame by Mackley for the base building. The red chassis will then be attached to the ropes which connect it to the counterweight (already in the tower) this month.
This is required before the 48 pod segments, delivered in approximately 30 lorry loads, can be assembled by Poma onto the chassis.
We are really looking forward to welcoming the breathtaking i360 glass passenger pod to Brighton!