London Eye Undergoing Repaint for Anniversary

FRIDAY, MARCH 22, 2024


London’s iconic observation Ferris wheel is getting a fresh coat of paint in preparation for its 25th anniversary and an anticipated influx of tourists in Europe for this year’s Olympics.

Approximately 5,000 liters (about 1,321 gallons) of weather-resistant paint will be used to cover the 32-pod London Eye, which is reportedly repainted every three years.

“It is incredibly difficult, which is why they brought the access specialist team to do the job,” said one worker in an interview with BBC reporter John Maguire, as they abseiled down the structure.

A team of eight painters reportedly began work in January and will work on the renovation until June. Workers are expected to spend 9,360 hours over the six-month period painting overnight from Monday through Friday.

At times, painters are suspended at heights of 130 meters (about 426.5 feet) from ground level to the top.

“Can you imagine a more picturesque painting location than this? It's the perfect spot to soar above and soak in the iconic London sights! Our amazing team take to the skies every three years to ensure the lastminute.com London Eye stays sparkling over the capital,” said Ti Onur, the Head of Operations at the London Eye.

“And this year even more importantly, to ensure the attraction looks its very best heading into its 25th birthday in 2025.”

In addition to its anniversary, the work is being completed in preparation for an increase of visitors in Europe for the upcomiong summer Olympic games, which will take place in Paris in July.

According to The Telegraph, the London Eye is the eighth-highest-earning tourist attraction in the world, with 3.5 million visitors and an estimated income of 91 million euro in 2023.

Workers are expected to spend 9,360 hours over the six-month period painting overnight from Monday through Friday.

About the Attraction

Also known as the Millennium Wheel and officially sponsored as the lastminute.com London Eye, the attraction was originally anticipated to be dismantled after just five years. Now, it is considered a “permanent feature” of the London skyline as it approaches its 25th anniversary.

The London Eye stands at 135 meters, making it the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel. It was also the world’s largest Ferris wheel until 2006.

The landmark is situated on the South Bank of the River Thames. It opened in 2000 to commemorate London’s millennium, with an original name of the Millenium Wheel.

Construction began in 1998, and the wheel was put together over the river in a horizontal position, before being pulled upright. It was designed by David Marks and Julia Barfield of Marks Barfield Architects.

The hub of the wheel reportedly rests on two supports, which are anchored to a foundation on the riverbank and lean out over the river at an angle of 65 degrees. With both its supports on the same side of the hub, the wheel is said to be cantilevered over the river. The entirety of the structure is held in place by six backstay cables anchored to a second foundation.

The wheel itself has a diameter of 120 meters and is connected to its hub by 64 cables that function much like the spokes of a bicycle wheel. The power to turn the wheel is reportedly transmitted to the rim through rubber tires that are mounted on the base of the structure.

On the wheel, 32 32 ovoid “capsules” are mounted as the cabins that carry the passengers are called. Their number reportedly corresponds to the 32 boroughs that, together with the City of London, constitute Greater London. 

   

Tagged categories: Amusement Complexes; EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa); EU; Historic Preservation; Historic Structures; Ongoing projects; Outdoor weathering; Paint; Preservation; Projects - Commercial; Renovation

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