A stunning and architecturally unique attraction, AquEye, has been unveiled in Bath that will offer visitors and residents unrivalled aerial views across the UNESCO World Heritage city.
Designed in Bath by award-winning architect Nicholas Stubbs, AquEye is a revolving glass observation pod suspended between two slim, carbon fibre masts that rises from a horizontal position to a height of 65m, offering 360 degree views over the city’s Georgian rooftops.
Built on Pulteney Weir Island, just below Bath’s famous 18th century Pulteney Bridge, AquEye’s contemporary glass capsule will accommodate up to 25 passengers who will embark from Parade Gardens’ riverside lawn.
The capsule will swing out over the river and in just 20 seconds will lift passengers up above the roof tops to AquEye’s full height of 65m, revealing stunning views over the Georgian city, including Bath Abbey, Pulteney Bridge, the Bath Rugby stadium and the seven hills surrounding the city.
The full AquEye experience will take 20 minutes and could be experienced by over 250,000 guests a year.
Subject to planning permission, AquEye could begin operation in spring / summer 2017.
AquEye is a founding member of the Percent Club and will donate 10% of profits to charity.
Speaking about the project, architect Nicholas Stubbs said: “AquEye will be a global first for Bath and its hi-tech, low-profile design has been created specifically for heritage locations.
“Having worked as an architect in Bath for over 25 years I well understand the sensitivities of this World Heritage city.
“Although brilliant, I could not see the London Eye working here, so I wanted to develop something that would offer a similar breath-taking aerial experience, but in a way which was both elegant and unobtrusive.
“AquEye will lift people high enough to enjoy and interpret the city from above, but will be low profile enough to preserve Bath’s traditional views, as AquEye’s resting position is down and so doesn’t interrupt the city skyline.
“It’s also a dynamic work of art in its own right; the future celebrating the past of this wonderful, beautifully innovative city.”
Plans for AquEye have already been well received, with David James, Head of Bath Tourism Plus, saying: “AquEye is a world first. It’s beautifully inventive and will be a fantastic addition to Bath.
“It will bring extra visitors to the city, create jobs and further boost the local economy. It’s a very exciting project and we’re really looking forward to it.”
A crowdfunding campaign will be launched in November to support the full planning and development of AquEye.
Supporters of the concept will be able to donate to the campaign in exchange for AquEye gifts and experiences.
AquEye’s design is already at an advanced stage and the AquEye team has been working closely with a wide range of leading research and engineering companies.
These include Magma Structures – designers and makers of the world’s tallest free-standing carbon fibre masts, such as the Maltese Falcon superyacht; the University of Bath; the Wolfson Unit at Southampton University; and the National Composites Centre in Bristol, which develops carbon fibre technology for Airbus and Rolls Royce.
Anyone who would like to find out more about AquEye can visit the Little Southgate Shopping Centre in Bath on Saturday (12th September) from 11am to 5pm.
They will be able to view a video of the project, see a 1:50 scale model, download the AquEye augmented reality app to create a large ‘holographic’ image of AquEye in action, and go into a prize draw to win a pair of AquEye tickets to be one of the first in the world to fly AquEye before it opens to the public.
For more information on the proposed attraction, visit www.AquEye.co.uk.