Southampton, United Kingdom
Spinnaker Tower Portsmouth
Photograph - Photograph
The Spinnaker Tower which opened in October 2005, is situated right on the edge of Portsmouth Harbour on the waterfront of the Gunwharf Quays development. It is higher than the London Eye, Blackpool tower and Big Ben and at 170m is the tallest publicly accessible structure in the UK. It has established itself as a national icon for Britain. The Tower offers amazing 350� panoramic views of Portsmouth Harbour, the South coast and the Isle of Wight, with views stretching out for up to 23 miles � breathtaking by day and a glittering sea of lights by night.
The legs of the tower, constructed out of steel reinforced concrete, were formed using a process known as slip forming. The slip form tooling was built in Austria, it involves the use of hydraulic cylinders which control the wooden shuttering and allow continuous concrete pouring. The construction of the legs continued until September 2003.
The supporting prefabricated steelwork for the spinnaker was assembled on site, in the very restricted space available at the tower base and was lifted into position during March 2004.
The remainder of the spinnaker steelwork was then assembled and lifted into position by crane, this process continued until the summer of 2004.
Next the tower was painted, by hand, by workers often using abseiling techniques to access the tower exterior.
In January 2005 the top section of the tower was assembled, this part of the tower is constructed as a tubular steel frame, coated in glass reinforced plastic. Shortly after this the tower crane used throughout the build was removed.
The tower opened for business in October 2005, offering panoramic views across Portsmouth Harbour, across the Solent to the Isle of Wight and far beyond.The viewing distances on a clear day are claimed to be 23 miles. The Spinnaker Tower has three viewing decks.
Deck1 is at a height of 100m, has full height glass walls and is home to the largest glass floor in Europe.
Deck2 is at 105m and is home to the 'time telescopes'.
Deck 3, known as the 'Crows Nest' is at 110m high and is open to the elements.
January 17th, 2013
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