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Spinnaker Tower — Portsmouth, England

Spinnaker Tower is a 170-metre (560 ft) landmark tower in Portsmouth, England, UK. 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. The tower, designed by local firm HGP Architects and the engineering consultants Scott Wilson and built by Mowlem, reflects Portsmouth's maritime history by its being modelled after a sail. The tower was opened on 18 October 2005.

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The tower is owned by Portsmouth City Council, but operationally managed by Continuum Leading Attractions, a cultural attractions group based in York. Continuum also run five other visitor attractions across the country.


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Structure — The tower, at a height of 170 m above sea level, is 2 1/2 times as high as 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 horizon of the area. It can be seen from the Isle of Wight and the Manhood Peninsula.


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The tower represents sails billowing in the wind, a design accomplished using two large, white, sweeping metal 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 350° view of the city of Portsmouth, the Langstone and Portsmouth harbours, and a viewing distance of 37 kilometres (23 mi). The highest of the three observation platforms, the crow's nest, has a wire mesh roof, allowing visitors to be in the elements.


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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 323 metres (1,060 ft).

Click here to view the Original Image Size

Click here to view the Original Image Size

Click here to view the Original Image Size

Click here to view the Original Image Size

Click here to view the Original Image Size

Click here to view the Original Image Size

Click here to view the Original Image Size

Click here to view the Original Image Size

Click here to view the Original Image Size

Click here to view the Original Image Size


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