In the last week we attended a Brighton Chamber Construction Voice event about Greater Brighton, swiftly followed by an Archiboo talk about the already infamous Brighton i360.
First up was the Greater Brighton panel discussion. If you don’t know what Greater Brighton actually is, then here’s a handy blog Shelley wrote for the Chamber – Greater Brighton Explained. Here’s an overview; Greater Brighton covers the city of Brighton & Hove and the districts and boroughs of Lewes, Adur, Worthing and Mid Sussex. The Greater Brighton Economic Board (GBEB) is made up of five local authorities, three business partnerships, two universities, four further education colleges, the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership and the South Downs National Park Authority. It’s stated aim is to ‘protect and grow the economy by coordinating economic development activities and investments at city region level.’ A little dry we admit, but there’s an awful lot of good stuff going on in and around this marvellous home of ours, so it’s worth getting involved if you can.
Which leads nicely on to the following evening’s event – an Archiboo talk by Julia Barfield, the architect of Brighton i360.
Apparently Brighton i360 follows the grand Brighton tradition of building something crazy every century. In the 18th century we had the Royal Pavilion, the 19th century saw the pier going up, the 20th century… well to be honest everyone in the room drew a slight blank until someone at the back shouted “the marina!” And for the 21st century we have the UK’s most ambitious tourism project – a 161 metre tower with a mirrored viewing ‘pod’ slowly rising up and down.
It was fascinating listening to Julia talk through the evolution of the project and you can watch Archiboo’s film of the evening here. As the architect of the London Eye, it really came across that this is another (slightly bonkers) labour of love. It’s taken 10 years to get the project off the ground, but just 10 weeks to build. Julia featured a series of illustrations by Lisa Holdcroft (pictured below) which brilliantly explain how it’s been constructed – we will be keeping an eye on Lisa’s website as the project progresses.
So with a head full of new knowledge about our great city, we now embark on a mission to bore all our friends with ‘interesting facts’ and / or ace the next pub quiz.