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The London Eye

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The London Eye
Millennium Wheel


Structure in General

ferris wheel
existing [completed]




  • The capsules are situated on the outer rim so as not to have their view impeded by the wheel whilst their attitude is computer-controlled.
  • The BA London Eye has been acknowledged by the Los Angeles-based Themed Entertainment Association as being an internationally recognisable city icon.
  • The Eye atracts upwards of 3.5 million visitors per annum.
  • The entire structure weighs 1,900 tonnes with each single cable weighing 1.5 tonnes whilst the passenger rotates with the wheel at 0.3 metres (0.98 feet) per second.
  • The BA London Eye is officially the world's most popular tourist attraction, beating the Statue of Liberty, Torre Pendente and the Tour Eiffel.
  • The cables comprise 16 rim rotation cables, 64 spoke cables and 6 backstay cables, whilst the compression foundation sited underneath the A-frame legs called for 2,200 tonnes of concrete with 44 concrete piles, each of which is 33 metres (108 feet) deep.
  • The wheel rotates continuously save for when access is required by the mobility-impaired or wheelchair users.
  • The capsules were constructed by ski-lift cabin manufacturer Sigma Composite, whilst the capsules' control systems were manufactured by SEMER.
  • The London Eye is not - strictly speaking - a Ferris wheel, due in part to the nature of its support structure and its enclosed passenger capsules.
  • This was the world's tallest ferris wheel until the erection of the Star of Nanchang in 2006.
  • Awards garnered include TripAdvisor.com's 'Best Attraction in Europe' (2007), The World Travel Awards' 'World's Leading Attraction' (2004), The 2003 Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation, and Travellers' Choice Awards 'Best Millennium Attraction' (2001).
  • The BA London Eye is London's highest public vantage point.
  • The London Eye has won in excess of 75 accolades for national and international tourism, engineering achievement and for the quality of its architecture.
  • Phenomenally successful as both a tourist attraction and universally recognisable city landmark, the Eye was the first of the new generation of 21st century super ferris wheels to have sprung up around the world.
  • Completed in 1999, the Eye didn't open to the public until March 2000 despite a schedule which envisioned it being in operation to usher in the so-called millennium eve of 1999/2000.
  • On opening, the capsules each had their own guides who would give a commentary on the city as it unfolded below.
  • The wheel was constructed with components from Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Italy and France and were raised from the horizontal to the vertical from the river Thames.
  • The tension foundation, which holds the backstay cables, utilised 1,200 tonnes of concrete.
  • The London Eye was a RIBA award winner 1999.
  • The weight of the wheel is 640 tonnes, the boarding platform is 6.2 metres (20.3 feet) wide and 58 metres (190 feet) long and weighs 98 tonnes.
  • 32 capsules measuring 8 metres (26 feet) in length and 4 metres (13 feet) in diameter can accommodate up to 800 people and afford a view of 25 miles (40 kilometres), weather permitting.
  • The capsules each weigh .5 tonnes with glass which is double-curved and laminated and their curved shape increases strength whilst minimising wind-drag on the whole structure.
  • The spindle, which is made by Skoda Steel, is 25 metres (82 feet) long and weighs 350 tonnes. The A-frame is 70 metres (229.6 feet) long, weighs 310 tonnes and each leg can take a compression load of 1,000 tonnes.

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Albert Embankment
Albert Embankment
United Kingdom

Technical Data

442.91 ft
442.91 ft

Involved Companies

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Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
  • City landmark
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