British Airways "Millenium Wheel" Passengers Enjoy Optically Clear, Unobstructed Views Of London Cityscape

London has one of the best cityscapes in the world, yet unlike other great cities there was no central platform from which to view it until March 2000 when the British Airways London Eye – also known as the Millennium Wheel – opened to the public.

Conceived and designed by architects David Marks and Julia Barfield, the London Eye stands at 132m high – one of the tallest structures in London. The design brief for its 32 spacious passenger capsules ( 8 x 4 m with a floor area of about 25 m2) was that they should be safe, comfortable enclosures for up to 25 people, giving them the widest possible unobstructed views of London. Optically-clear glass was needed as well as an aerodynamic shape to shed wind load.


David Marks told LGN: "As the project progressed, we were constantly refining the geometry of the capsules to balance our desire for large, unobstructed pieces of glass with optical clarity. From the beginning, we were predisposed towards using glass, rather than plastic. Single layer toughened glass was ruled out because failure would mean a shower of glass fragments falling from the capsule, leaving a gaping and unprotected hole. Toughening can also cause distortion in the glass that would be exacerbated by the curvature."

"Laminated glass was the answer. In the case of failure of the laminated glass we knew that the pane would stay in tact and bonded to its frame in spite of being cracked or crazed. Furthermore, it would support the weight of the people standing on it in the almost unthinkable case of a capsule failing to revolve correctly within its bearings."


The innovative double-curved capsule glazing, never before used as far as the designers know, consists of two layers of 6mm float glass laminated together with a 1.5mm PVB interlayer and designed to withstand a loading of six people (3 kilos Newtons) per square meter. The laminated glass panels are directly fixed to the frames using a structural sealant. All the glass is double-curved (spherical and toroidal bending) yet maintains excellent optics and strength in spite of the production challenges.

Read the entire news on the source link below. 

600450 British Airways "Millenium Wheel" Passengers Enjoy Optically Clear, Unobstructed Views Of London Cityscape
Date: 28 December 2006
Source: Laminated Glass News

See more from these topics:

Others also read

The ongoing "Corvin Promenade" renewing development wouldn't be complete without CE Glass Industries' laminated glass.
Tuff X have recently supplied 35.5mm Toughened Laminate glass to Edinburgh Zoo.
When architecture and art go hand in hand, unique buildings are formed. A wonderful example for this is the office building at the sculpture park in Neu-Ulm.
The latest phase of an ambitious multi-million-pound urban transport project will feature toughened architectural laminated coloured glass from Romag.
Layers of light and texture embrace lovers of gelato to tantalise the senses at Elizabeth Quay
HIGH performance toughened safety glass for the rail industry will feature on specialist manufacturer Romag’s stand 205, Hall 1.1b at the international trade fair for transport technology, InnoTrans.

From industry

Is Kuleleri, Kule: 2, Kat: 22, 4. Levent
34330 Levent-Istanbul/


Add new comment