The official launch of the British Airways i360 marks the culmination of 12 years of work for designers Marks Barfield Architects, the firm responsible for the London Eye. The project will have taken exactly two years from start of construction to opening, with the bill coming in at £42.2 million (around $74 million AUD).
Once open, visitors will take a sedate 20 minute (30 minutes at night) journey up the tower in a double-glazed pod and enjoy choice views of Brighton and Hove, the Sussex coast, and the English Channel.
The donut-shaped pod itself weighs 94 tonnes, has a capacity of up to 200 people, and includes seating and a bar, the latter only open at night. On those rare sunny British days, visibility in the pod from the maximum height of 138m promises to be up to 42km.
The pod's descent harnesses energy regeneration tech to generate almost half of the electricity required to power its next ride up.
Ticket prices start at £13.50 ($24) for adults and £6.75 ($12) per child.