пятница, 27 февраля 2009 г.

Postcard from Great Britain

Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth



Portsmouth city located in the county of Hampshire on the south coast of England. Portsmouth is the UK's only island city and is located on Portsea Island. It is commonly nicknamed Pompey.

A significant naval port for centuries, Portsmouth is home to the world's oldest dry dock still in use and home to many famous ships, including Nelson's flagship HMS Victory. Portsmouth has declined as a naval base in recent years but remains a major dockyard and base for the Royal Navy and Royal Marine Commandos whose Headquarters resides there. There is also a commercial port serving destinations on the continent for freight and passenger traffic.

The Spinnaker Tower is a high tower in Portsmouth, United Kingdom. It is the centrepiece of the redevelopment of Portsmouth Harbour, which was supported by a National Lottery grant. Its shape was chosen by Portsmouth residents from a selection of concepts. The tower, designed by local firm HGP Architects and the engineering consultants Scott Wilson and built by Mowlem, reflects Portsmouth's maritime history by being modeled after a sail. After several years of delays and cost overruns, it was opened on 18 October 2005.


The tower, at a height of 170 metres (558 feet) above sea level, is 2.5 times higher than Nelson's Column, making it the tallest accessible structure in the United Kingdom outside London. The tower is visible for miles around Portsmouth, changing the area's horizon.

The tower represents sails billowing in the wind, a design accomplished using two large, white, sweeping steel arcs, which give the tower its spinnaker sail design. The steelwork was fabricated by Butterley Engineering. At the top is a triple observation deck, providing a 320° view of the city of Portsmouth, the Langstone and Portsmouth harbours, and a viewing distance of 37 kilometres (23 miles). The highest of the three observation platforms, the crow's nest, has a wire mesh roof, allowing visitors to be in the elements. Windows extend to above head height, so it is not possible to get a view unobstructed by glass. The glass floor is the largest in Europe. The tower has a design lifetime of 80 years.

The design is similar to the Burj Al Arab in Dubai, whose structure is a little less than twice as tall at 321 m.

Portsmouth
Spinnaker Tower

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