News: UK tower crowned world's thinnest

Mon, 22 Feb 16

It’s over 160 metres high and will carry 200 people, but has a circumference of under 4 metres. Brighton’s newest building, the i360, has been crowned the world’s thinnest tower.

The building, which is set to be a major tourist attraction in the seaside town, opens this summer, when it will function as an observation tower.

The structure, sponsored by British Airways, is designed to house a pod made of handmade glass, which will rise up to 137 metres in the air to overlook the city’s West Pier, offering views of up to 26 miles along the Sussex coast.

The Guinness World Record was awarded to the structure this week, but was an unexpected bonus for the architects.

John Roberts, Chief Engineer, said it primarily used "ground-breaking engineering", based on the innovative technology behind the London Eye, to carry the 94-tonne pod, while still facing strong winds of 75 miles per hour. Part of that challenging design required it to be thin, but its height-to-width aspect ratio of 41.15:1 far out-skinnies the The Shard’s 6:1 and the BT Tower’s 8:1.

It follows the unveiling of plans for a similarly slim addition to the skyline in Australia’s Melbourne: Collins House, which will be completed next year, will stretch 195 metres tall and just 12 metres wide, housing 263 apartments across 57 floors. Even that structure, though, has a height-to-width ratio of 16.25:1.

Nonetheless, Brighton visitors can rest easy, reassures Roberts.

"There’s absolutely no way this tower is going to fall over," he told the BBC.

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