British Airways i360’s first anniversary

Our award-winning client, British Airways i360 celebrated its first year of business at the beginning of August, and revealed that more than half a million people have visited the attraction since it opened on 4th August 2016.

The design team behind British Airways i360, Marks Barfield Architects, held an anniversary event at the tower with free drinks and cupcakes being handed out to visitors. It was also the first time visitors could meet new chief executive Steve Bax, formerly at English Heritage, who was appointed in July to replace former CEO, Eleanor Harris.

“Since August 2016 we’ve welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors plus we’ve won nine fantastic awards,” said Bax, who added that the aim to boost visitor numbers further would be helped by the high number of “very good reviews” for the attraction.

Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus performed at the event, and guests enjoyed a British Airways i360 birthday cake – a model of the attraction made by Brighton Cakes, complete with tower, pod and two tollbooths.

Brighton Mayor Mo Marsh applauded the attraction for “bringing visitors from all over the world to the city”, and praised the i360’s free school ticket programme, which has seen 39,000 free tickets given to Brighton children – one for every child in a state school in Brighton & Hove.

Brighton & Hove City Council chief executive Geoff Raw also attended the anniversary event, calling the i360 “a beacon for Brighton and a positive statement of confidence” for the city.

In line with plans for British Airways i360 to raise the international profile of Brighton and attract investment, an extensive IT Infrastructure was obviously integral to the project, and Curve IT were brought in to ensure WiFi connectivity was implemented right across the site – including in the glass pod at its full height of 138 metres.

Curve IT consultants came into the project half-way through its two-year construction period, meaning they were able to identify the necessary IT infrastructure that was needed and influence some design changes – with less need for retrospective IT installation costs.

Some high points

  • The view from the top of the tower takes in a 360-degree, 26-mile vista from Chichester in the west to the Seven Sisters and beyond in the east.
  • The tower is not perfectly vertical (it’s impossible to build any tall building which is exactly straight!). The engineers allowed a tolerance of 6 inches and the i360 leans very slightly towards Regency Square.
  • British Airways i360 has created 150 jobs, held five weddings and 180 private events.
  • The i360 is one of the only major planning applications in Brighton’s history to have received cross-party unanimous planning support.
  • During the three-month consultation period hundreds of residents came to see the public exhibition, 500 questionnaires were completed – and all but 7 were supportive.
  • Curve IT completed a pre-build WiFi survey using CAD architectural drawings to create a virtual model of the planned network.
  • Preparatory work included diverting 120 metres of a working Victorian sewer and moving nine major electrical cables which power a third of the city.

Read the case study on Curve IT’s work with British Airways i360.

Email or call Curve IT on 01273 806220 to discuss your IT infrastructure project.