The Brighton i360 tower: ‘successor’ to the West Pier

Remembering the West Pier, Brighton - the future i360 tower

With the remains of Brighton’s magnificent West Pier now doomed to slowly rust away into the English Channel, the West Pier Trust have lent their support to what they believe is an ‘appropriate successor to the historic West Pier.’

This comes in the the shape of the i360, a tall observation tower with a passenger pod that rises 150m above sea level to offer dramatic views of the area.

Remembering the West Pier, Brighton - the future i360 tower

The tower with the remains of the West Pier in the foreground. The building seems to follow Brighton;s tradition for quirky architecture and novelties – check out this feature on Volk’s utterly bizarre Sea Railway that was built in the late Victorian period.

Taller than the London Eye

At 175 metres high, and with an observation pod rising to 141 metres, the i360 will be Britain’s highest observation tower outside London, with a shop and hospitality suite and a cafe/restaurant catering for up to 400 people built at the base.

(*promo video has been removed)

The ‘Brighton Eye’

The brainchild of Marks Barfield, the team behind the London Eye, the i360 has received enthusiastic support from Glynn Jones, Chair of the Brighton West Pier Trust:

We believe that the Brighton i360 – a ‘vertical pier’ – is entirely in the spirit of the original pier’s history and the best option to replicate its success and ethos

Not universally popular

Commentators on YouTube have been less enthusiastic, however:

I think it looks like an eyesore to be honest…I’d much rather have the west pier back than this

This is all about money, yet another unimaginative assault on Brighton & Hove’s splendid regency seafront. Like most modern architecture, it bears no relation to its environment and looks like an alien spaceship.

Pointless and ugly. Erect a giant dildo with a cock-ring why don’t you?

Expected in 2013. Possibly

The i360 team say that, “significant private funding is in place and a big investment has already been made,” adding:

We will start full construction as soon as the balance of the funding, which we are currently seeking, is in place. Naming rights and sponsorship opportunities are currently available.

We expect the i360 to be operational in 2013.

Find out more here:

Update May 2013: 

Two years on and there’s no sign at all of work starting on the tower. The completion date has now been pushed back to 2015, but I wouldn’t like to take bets on that. Read more in this May 2013 feature.

More about the West Pier:

Part one: The glorious heyday and fall from grace
Part twoFurther decline and a collapse into the sea

Discuss the i360 tower on our bulletin boards.

11 Comments on “The Brighton i360 tower: ‘successor’ to the West Pier”

  1. I am sorry, but it is HIDEOUS! isn’t Brighton supposed to pride itself on the many original architectural structures, and then they are planning to build this? it looks ridiculous and completely out of place. So many people have been dying for the West Pier to be rebuilt, they have been attempting it for years, and yet they disregard it and build a huge eye-sore instead. well done Brighton council once again, you’ve got your head where the money is.

    1. The pier known as the west pier was awaiting its funds given to it to be realised when permission was given for the tower to be built at its entrance. Now noble and rank you silly sods we want the 1910 3/4 of the pier back by 2017 or as soon as possible as it is best for both piers tourism wise, they walk between the piers and cant visit both unless they are there. It is best for the tourists to be able to visit both piers as they are both a short walk apart giving more tourists. Also the words grand royal go really well in the the new name. So let as see the work start to make the pier grand and royal looking as it was before 1914. Good men on guard.

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