The Terra Firma Consultancy provided an informal landscape design advisory service to Marks Barfield Architects, sourcing the most appropriate hard landscaping solution at British Airways i360, the new landmark attraction on Brighton beach. The Terra Firma Consultancy presented Marks Barfield Architects with Tobermore’s Sienna Duo - a block paving product with a striking granite aggregate finish that offered the contemporary look desired for the iconic structure.
Robyn Butcher, Landscape Architect at The Terra Firma Consultancy, explained the objectives of the high-profile project and her role within it: “The design vision for the external landscape was to provide an attractive landscape to accompany the highly anticipated British Airways i360 building and enhance the experience for visitors.
“Marks Barfield Architects was responsible for the stunning design of the i360 structure and we acted as an informal advisor on aspects of the landscape design in assessing the best materials and products suitable for the site.”
Built at the landward end of Brighton’s historic West Pier, British Airways i360 is a modern-day ‘vertical pier’ that offers a new perspective on Brighton and the south coast. Visitors are gently lifted from ground level to a height of 138m in a giant glass observation pod. The modern design, engineering and method of construction are innovative, just as the West Pier was in its time.
Robyn noted that due to the contemporary style of the design and build, paving products were the most suitable hard landscaping material for the project. “The aesthetics of paving was ideal for the envisioned design and, as other areas on the beachfront close to the project were due to be refurbished with new paving in the near future, we knew that paving around the British Airways i360 building would create continuity with these existing elements.
“Paving also provided the benefits of being easy to lay and easy to replace.”
Robyn was involved in the process of sourcing and assessing paving products for Marks Barfield Architects and she was highly impressed with the quality, aesthetics and performance offered by Tobermore’s Sienna Duo block paving. She explained: “Competitor paving products had been put forward for the project but they did not meet the desired aesthetics for the landscape. A product with a modern appearance was needed to complement the structure which was crafted with a real futuristic feel.
“The modern finish and duo sizes available with Tobermore’s Sienna block paving was ideal for creating a contemporary look that was in keeping with the style of the national visitor attraction. We put this forward to Marks Barfield Architects - they were sold on Sienna Duo, resulting in the product being specified.”
The attraction was completed in August 2016 and was officially opened by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh during a special ceremony in October 2016, during which HRH took a flight on the observation pod before unveiling a plaque and signing a visitors book.
British Airways i360 has also achieved the Guinness World Record for the World’s Most Slender Tower, with a diameter of just 3.9 m at its widest point.
Robyn commented: “I’m very pleased with the results – I would definitely recommend Tobermore products.
“Having worked with Tobermore previously, the team was always so attentive with technical guidance; the products are competitively priced and aesthetically pleasing and the vibrant colour range available is stunning.”