Technology Partner to British Airways i360

British Airways i360 is the world’s tallest moving observation tower, located in Brighton, conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects.  The visitor attraction launched in August 2016 attracting worldwide media attention and visitors from all over the world.

The fully enclosed glass viewing pod glides up the slim tower to 138m, from where you can see stunning 360° views of Brighton, the South Downs, all along the South Coast and out to the English Channel.  The attraction also features two reproduction tollbooths dating from the original West Pier development in 1866; extensive event spaces; a shop and a beachside restaurant.

Initially British Airways i360 contacted Curve IT to deliver emergency high speed internet into the temporary portakabin the team were occupying during construction. Following the success of that job our original remit of work was expanded. Curve IT became instrumental in developing and delivering IT infrastructure for the entire project.

As a new construction project, British Airways i360 had extensive IT infrastructure requirements to be planned, designed, developed and installed to tight deadlines and budget.  These included WiFi connectivity across the site and into the pod at 138 metres high!  It also included the IT network set-up for the back office, the technical engineers, the event spaces and the restaurant.

IT Strategy

  • To design and deploy the full IT infrastructure, including the communications room, for the visitor attraction guaranteeing that everything was designed to the very specific architectural vision.
  • To deliver high-speed, building-wide reliable and secure network connectivity to visitors, conference delegates and the operations team.
  • To provide WiFi connectivity for visitors and operations within the giant glass viewing pod from sea level all the way up to 138m high in the sky.

Project Management

  • We worked closely with Marks Barfield Architects and the British Airways i360 operating team in the construction phases advising on design, procurement and installation of all the IT infrastructure.
  • Throughout the project we collaborated with the main building contractor, the electrical contractor, CCTV supplier, ticketing system provider and other third party contractors to ensure that the IT infrastructure was aligned and optimised the building and operation management systems.
  • At the start of our involvement in the project our consultants were involved in regular construction meetings. As the British Airways i360 approached opening our consultants and technical team were on site throughout, installing and configuring all aspects of the IT infrastructure to meet the launch deadline.

Planning

  • Our team of consultants reviewed the client brief, architectural drawings, M&E and service proposals. Fully immersing ourselves in the build enabled us to highlight risks and constraints to IT delivery.
  • We helped advise, negotiate and facilitate the leased line connectivity to British Airways i360.

Design

  • We designed the full IT infrastructure including servers and security deployment for the whole site.
  • We conducted a pre-build WiFi survey overlaid on the CAD architectural drawings to virtually model the planned network. This produces the plan for wired and wireless access points, avoids over-scoping but optimises coverage.
  • We designed the main comms room, providing detailed drawings of server racking and equipment dimensions. Security and resilience was of paramount importance.
  • We designed the office network and physical space for cabling and power specification.

Delivery

  • We supplied hardware and software required for the IT Infrastructure including the data cabinets, power distribution units, networking equipment, sever equipment, patch cables etc.
  • We provided payment gateways and CCTV links.
  • We installed and configured the WiFi network across the site including in the shop, restaurants, event spaces and the back office.
  • We devised and tested the methodology for the WiFi radio link installation in the glass viewing pod to reach 138m high.
  • We sourced and installed all IT equipment and VOIP telephone system for the office team.
  • We fully tested installation both on-site and off-site using our pro-active managed service.

 

We are very proud to be the technology partner to British Airways i360 providing them with an on-going fully managed IT service and IT support.

“From the very beginning, Simon and his team prided themselves not only getting the job done quickly and to the highest possible standards, but also on their strict lack of unnecessaries. This meant no pointless paperwork, no deliberate confounding of the client with industry gobbledegook and absolutely, positively no wasted time.”

Eleanor Harris, Chief Executive – British Airways i360

“Curve IT were the client side IT consultant for British Airways i360 during the construction phase of the project. They understood the client’s aims for the building including the flow of people and the work spaces that would require guaranteed connectivity.  They planned, mapped and implemented connectivity to suit the customers’ and operations team’s needs alike.  Including designing & installing WiFi provision inside the moving glass pod.”

“As an architect, I can see real merit in employing Curve IT as a technology consultant in the early stages of the RIBA Plan of Work for construction projects.  Their knowledge and experience of scoping and implementing the technology infrastructure for buildings can ensure that operational efficiencies are achieved, install costs are optimised, connectivity is guaranteed and end-user expectations are met.”

Ian Crockford, Director – Marks Barfield Architects

Throughout all of our work for British Airways i360, Curve IT brought the same passion and approach that has built our reputation for delivering intelligent IT solutions across a multitude of industries and events.  To see how we can help you, call us on 01273 806220.

Curve IT Support Brighton - British Airways i360

Simon, MD of Curve IT, working in the British Airways i360 pod