Saturday, 11 June 2011

A view of the Spinnaker Tower,Portsmouth,England

I saw this under construction,my friend Notty has just been up it and send us these words and pictures,thanks Notty.

Hi Roy,

At last I got around to downloading Soni's photos when we went up the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth. I've listed what each photo is. The tower is quite amazing, they were still building it when I was working in the naval dockyard there in 2005. It was opened in Oct. of that year by which time I had left. Built on a very small base of just 30 X 50 metres in the heart of the new Waterfront, designed by the same Architects as the CT Waterfront no shops had to be closed during the building from 2001 to 2005.

It is 170-Metres tall to the tip of the GRP spire, with the highest point for visitors being the Crows Nest, which is just above the main view deck that has a restaurant and can cater for up to 150 people. Weddings are conducted among other things there.

A file picture from the brochure on the building.

Built on 84 piles driving down into the seabed the longest of these was 49.5-metres. The main trunnion cruciform that joins the beams together was 95-tons and made by the same company that manufactured the deck beams for HMS Warrior, seen below, in the Historic Dockyard.

The 2 main support legs were made of 11000 cubic metres of concrete using the slip-form method of construction and they were angled at 2-deg. to join at the top and took three months to cast.

Hi Roy,

This one is the window cleaners so a human interest, they must have balls of brass to do that job especially in winter, I wonder if they can only go out when the wind speed is low? There was a vote on if that tower design should be used and over 60% of the population of Portsmouth voted for it. The Portsmouth waterfront is far better than the Southampton one where there are just flats surrounding a marina with bars, the Portsmouth waterfront is more like the CT one with lots of interesting things.


You can see for 25-miles on a clear day. The viewing deck has the largest glass floor in Europe, it is 60-mm thick, laminated and strong enough to walk on so you can look down through the construction to the ground below. 1200 tons of steel was used in the construction.

This photo was taken By Notty,who drafted most of the words,thanks Notty.

Apart from the normal navigation warning light, the whole tower is bathed in a spectacular multi coloured light show powered by 50 metal halide lights, 28 of these are 575 watts and can create any colour in the spectrum so the tower can be seen from miles away and from planes flying at over 30000 feet.

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