Blanc de Bierges was specified by terra firma Consultancy Ltd (terra firma) to supply paving and steps for the lower esplanade at the British Airways
i360 attraction in Brighton. Situated along the seafront, this award-winning visitor attraction is the world’s tallest moving observation tower featuring a glass viewing pod that rises vertically to 450ft, providing breath-taking 360 degree views for up to 26 miles.
A popular visitor attraction, the paving and steps supplied for the project needed to meet both the design and functionality requirements, and so it was imperative that the materials chosen were able to withstand years of heavy footfall, vehicular traffic and the effects of the sea air.
We were given the task of installing 7,500 of its signature Striated cast stone paving slabs on either side of the 162 metre observation tower for the i360 Lower Esplanade project.
From the initial stages of the project, we worked closely with the team of architects at terra firma to ensure the brief was fully understood and the delivery of the stonework exceeded expectations.
Due to the nature of the project and the high expected footfall, 80mm thick units with our signature striated texture were selected for their durability and strength. To meet this specification, we manufactured bespoke moulds which were used to manufacture the 7500 striated cast stone paving slabs that were installed either side of the 162 metre observation tower by Edburton Contractors.
In addition to the paving, we were also specified to produce a large number of our smooth L shaped steps for the project, which were installed to help achieve a change of level at the promenade edge.
We also supplied a number of specially crafted stone components to complete the area around the electrical feeder pillars on the paved area. This ensured that they fitted seamlessly into the area without the need for a change in material.
The paving, steps and additional components were all manufactured in Portland colour and in TecStone wet cast material because it provides a smooth surface finish that does not weather quickly and can meet the demanding design and performance criteria of large public and commercial projects.
The first order for Blanc de Bierges stonework was placed in December 2016, with the final collection in May 2017. In total, 254 tonnes of stone, including all the striated paving, smooth L shaped steps and additional components were supplied to the project.
Fiona Atkinson, the lead designer on the project, said:
“Since starting work on the first phase of the Regeneration of Brighton Seafront project in 1993, when I first specified Blanc de Bierges, I have been a huge fan and have continued to use it on all phases since. I particularly like its stylish simplicity, which together with its unique versatility provides designers with huge creative opportunities.”
“The team were extremely useful during the design process and readily provided answers to queries plus suggestions, recommendations and samples. Blanc de Bierges have consistently been very helpful and I had no hesitation in using them again for this phase.”
Blanc de Bierges are thrilled and honoured to have been part of this project, which allowed our experienced team to create a truly beautiful space whilst further establishing our name within the industry both in the UK and internationally.
Since opening in August 2016, the British Airways i360 has been honoured with 20 awards including the Visit England Gold Award for Innovation in Tourism in 2018 and the RICS South East Project of the Year Award in 2017.
“A triumph of innovation” – Visit England Awards for Excellence, Gold Award for Innovation in Tourism
“An innovative project that has created an iconic landmark on a famous British seafront” – RICS South East Awards 2017: Project of the Year