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Portsmouth Spinnaker

Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth

Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth

curved steelwork by Angle Ring

Portsmouth Spinnaker

Curved architectural steelwork by Angle Ring

Portsmouth Spinnaker

SECRET OF SPINNAKER'S SUCCESS IS IN THE SPECIALLY BENT STEEL

Spinnaker Tower, Britain's visionary new landmark soaring 170 metres up into the sky at the entrance to Portsmouth harbour, is set to have its official opening in May 2005, an event, say Portsmouth City Council, which will make international engineering news.

At the heart of the stunning 170m tower, which the BBC's Engineering Solutions programme described as one of the most spectacular design projects of the decade, is a steel framework produced by Angle Ring, Britain's foremost specialist in the manufacture of curved steel and metal sections for the construction and engineering industries.

The unique shape of the structure, its proximity to the busy Gunwharf Quays tourist and shopping centre at its foot, and the tiny base on which the tower had to be built, all created extraordinary design and construction challenges which required the use of exceptional building materials and high levels of expertise from the construction team.

Paul Middleton, Marketing Manager for Angle Ring, said: “With shops and restaurants just 10m away and boats berthing around its seaward side, the tower's structure had to take into account extra hazards such as high winds blowing in from across the Channel and the possibility of a vessel hitting the tower's base. The framework had to be curved to accommodate the elegant design, but also had to be super-strong.

“The steel frame was assembled on a platform just 50m by 30m out in the sea, but because of the very specialist nature of the metal bending skills and capabilities which Angle Ring has, and with the many other architecturally unusual construction projects we have been involved in worldwide, we were able to handle the Spinnaker Tower's core framework without any undue problems.”

The tower's stunning steel sail, stretching 350m and weighing 1100 tonnes, is already a shining white beacon on the coastline, the first British landmark to be seen by millions of visitors as they approach Portsmouth on ferries from the continent, and which offers a welcome home to Royal Navy ships as they enter the historic harbour.

Mr Middleton said: “With Spinnaker Tower already being compared to the Sydney Opera House for its soaring design, its construction and its strong seafaring imagery, we are proud to have provided its heart.”

Main Contractor: Mowlem PLC
Steelwork Contractor: Butterley Engineering
Client: Portsmouth City Council
Lead Design Consultant: Scott Wilson
Project partly funded by: The Millennium Commission

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