Case studies

GEZE opens the doors to the spectacular i360 viewing tower

Experience the southern English coast from a height of 138 m: the British Airways i360 viewing platform is the highest viewing tower in the United Kingdom, and the new landmark of the seaside resort Brighton. State-of-the-art sliding door systems by GEZE UK escort millions of visitors into the 'vertical pier'.

Sliding door systems made to measure for Brighton's newest attraction

With its sleek metal construction, a massive 173 m high, the British Airways i360 brings together state-of-the-art architecture and maritime tradition in a unique manner in the popular sea resort Brighton on the southern English coast. 138 m high up goes the glazed prospect pulpit of the sleek tower, where a breathtaking 360 degree panoramic view over the coast and sea awaits. The spectacular project was planned by the architect duo Marks Barfield Architects, who had previously designed the legendary big wheel, the London Eye. GEZE opens the doors for visitors to Brighton's newest attraction - with tailor-made sliding door systems which offer convenient and barrier-free access to the viewing tower, even at peak loads.

Visually perfect: Glass façade with Slimdrive sliding door systems

At the foot of the viewing tower stands the Beach Building, a sustained beach building with an accessible roof, which houses a meeting room, a shop and a restaurant. Six double-leaf sliding door systems, which open precisely and almost silently for the incoming visitors, are perfectly incorporated into the elegant glass façade. The sleek GEZE Slimdrive SL NT door drives, only 7 cm high, fit compactly and almost invisibly into the door sections, and support the continuous design of the glass façade.

Functionality and design: Glass doors made to measure by GEZE

Glass façade of the Beach Building, exterior view.

Contemporary architecture: GEZE sliding door systems fit perfectly into the glass façade of the Beach Building.

The Austrian specialist building company Fill Metallbau, who was tasked with building the metal and glass construction of the Beach Building, had high demands for the door systems used; because of the exposed location by the see, the building is frequently subjected to strong winds, meaning that sliding doors were more favourable than a swing door solution. At the same time, the sliding door system had to withstand the raw elements of the coast as well as the high influx of visitors. The six side-by-side sliding doors with GEZE Slimdrive SL NT sliding door drives are an ideal solution with regards to function and design.

The British Airways i360 is a vertical pier; just like people in Victorian times, who enjoyed the 'walk on the water' on the West Pier, the visitors of today are fascinated by the 'walk through the air' with the i360. The right doors were an essential part of the project - quiet and efficient, durable and above all, visually in line with the glass aesthetic of the Beach Building.

David Marks, chairman of British Airways i360 and managing director of Marks Barfield Architects

State-of-the-art architecture with maritime history

The British Airways i360 stands directly in front of the beach, at the exact height of the former West Pier. As a homage to the pier that was burned down in 2003, the two original payment offices of the West Pier were reproduced at a great cost. To the left and right of the viewing tower, set at each end of the accessible roof of the Beach Building, the historic ticket offices serve as a ticket centre and a café, and reflect the maritime heritage of the i360. The viewing gondola, with its all-round glazing, also offers a view back into the past. With up to 200 passengers, the cabin travels 138 m up the steel column of the viewing tower, and provides a view of Brighton, Hove and the English Channel, as well as the remains of the once magnificent West Pier, which still look out over the sea.

We are extremely delighted that GEZE products are being used in a project as representative as the British Airways i360. The viewing tower is a unique structure which uses materials and technology from all over the world. With certainty, the i360 has become a new landmark for the UK, and we are proud that our sliding door systems are there to guide millions of people to this fantastic experience.

Kaz Spiewakowski, managing director, GEZE UK

GEZE products in the British Airways i360