Portsmouth Spinnaker Tower with Geese ~ the shot taken from Gosport

Selected for Google Maps and Google Earth

HISTORY Emirates Spinnaker Tower was built as part of the centrepiece of the Renaissance of Portsmouth Harbour Project and has become Portsmouth’s most prominent landmark. Visible beyond 23 miles away; it dramatically overlooks the Portsmouth harbour, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, City centre and all of Portsmouth and its neighbouring towns and suburbs. A prestigious Millennium Project, the proposal for the “Millennium Tower” was approved by the Millennium Commission in September 1995. Later that year, Portsmouth City Council published a development brief outlining the broad requirements. The concept was to create a public and educational facility to celebrate the new Millennium. Public exhibitions and a special edition of Portsmouth City Council’s magazine, Flagship revealed the three design proposals for the City residents to choose from; the Globe, the Spinnaker and the Triple Tower. 60% of people voted for the Spinnaker Tower hence it became the chosen design, reflecting Portsmouth’s unique maritime heritage. Political, financial, contractual and construction problems delayed the project, and construction of this striking structure actually commenced in November 2001. It wasn’t plain sailing and there were many challenges for the highly dedicated and professional teams of architects, designers, engineers, builders and operators. However, to much acclaim, the Tower finally opened in October 2005. CONSTRUCTION Standing in the 110m high Sky Deck on a windy day, open to the elements you really do get a sense of the remarkable engineering skills that were required to build this unique structure. The Tower’s structural engineering is extremely complex, its complicated shape and design required many mind bending geometric calculations and not least, before the Tower was built, the space it now occupies was sea!

The Tower’s base was constructed first by driving 84 reinforced concrete piles into the sea bed, then building what was described by engineers as a concrete ‘cake tin’ on top. More concrete was pumped into this to form its solid base above the water level. These foundations support the weight of the Tower and provide a buffer against accidental impact from a ship. The Tower’s ‘legs’ were also constructed from concrete but using different process called ‘slip forming’. This involved pouring 11,000 cubic metres into two shafts, one for each leg. Every 12 – 14 hours, as the concrete dried, the shaft was moved upwards. 75 metres were completed in just 4 weeks with the entire height of the legs taking 3 months. Whilst ‘slip forming’ is not a very unusual method, it is believed that the Spinnaker Tower construction was the first time such a method had been used on hexagonal legs not at right angles to the base – the Tower’s legs are constructed at an angle of approximately 2 degrees, eventually merging at View Deck 1 level.

FACT FILE The Tower has been a huge success and has received over 2 million visitors since opening. The high speed internal lift travels at 4 metres per second, taking you to the View Decks in just 30 seconds. The concrete used to build the Tower would fill five-and-a-half Olympic-sized swimming pools. The Tower is founded on 84 piles, the longest of which runs 50m into the ground – the equivalent of Nelson’s Column. The total weight of the Tower exceeds 30,000 tonnes. The 27m spire weighs 14 tonnes and was carefully lifted into place by crane. 1200 tonnes of structural steel used to form the Tower's distinctive bows is the equivalent weight of 12 blue whales. 115 metres up and in high winds, the Tower can flex approximately 150mm. There are 570 steps from the base up to View Deck 3, the Sky Deck.

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Comments (1765)

Boris Jurišić on September 29, 2011

I can't do it anymore but you can ask me to so I will accept.

Thanks in advance


Nick Weall on September 29, 2011

NoleDjole ~ Hi again Boris I've applied but wuthout attaching the shot, since it is buried over 3000 plus shots back and I'm not going to try scrolling through all that lot :)

Once you have accepted then I can upload this shot easily.

Many thanks ~ Nick

Tony Byrne on September 29, 2011

Stunning view, Like and Fav

Darek Narwojsz on September 29, 2011

Super shot! Especially with these birds. Greetings from Poland : )

Darek ; )

Nick Weall on September 29, 2011

Tony Byrne Thanks a lot for the YSL and your compliment

Darek Narwojsz, ~ Hello Darek and thank you very much too for your kind compliments. (Yes the birds very much help to make the shot what it is )

all the best to both of you ~ nick

Amelia Royan on October 28, 2011

I am still worried about the extremely low view count on this one dear Nick, I think it needs a boost :))))

Now that almost everyone has posted almost every photo they have ever taken onto a group, maybe normal service will soon be restored!

Nick Weall on October 28, 2011

Amelia Royan This shot used to get thousands of visits every month until earlier this year when GE decided to no longer display it as a large image, now visits are a handful each month ~ Never mind it has had its day I guess. As to groups I replied the other day to you with my thoughts, basically most of them are a complete and utter waste of time. I notice one particular group that often advertises itself in the comments pages as having 12000 plus shots ~ what is the point no one is ever going to wade through the group further than the first three of four pages that come up ~ Interaction on most groups is also non existant ~ maybe the true purpose of groups might develop as time goes by ~ Somehow I doubt it

So many thanks for your valued visit here this morning :)) xxx

mousavi_majed on December 3, 2011


Nick Weall on December 3, 2011

mojtaba.hashemi Thank you :)

Haris A. on December 11, 2011

Beautiful photo...LIKE

Best wishes


Nick Weall on December 11, 2011

h@ris ~ Hello Harisand thanks for taking the trouble to comment and leave a like too ~ Best wishes to you ~ nick

Sanjay Poudyal on December 12, 2011

Really a fine composed and beautiful view LIKE join the group, welcome in the Nature Is Beautiful Namaste from Nepal

Nick Weall on December 12, 2011

Sanjay sp Recoab, Thanks but no thanks :)

christian caffin on December 19, 2011

One more like for this awesome shot! Cheers, Christian

Nick Weall on December 19, 2011

christian caffin ~ Thanks a lot for the like Christian ~ they all add up :)) All the best to you ~ nick

Pixelfoto.hu Kiss Lá… on December 26, 2011

Beautiful shot!

Yours sincerely invited to the Colours group . Happy new year 2012!

Greetings, László

Nick Weall on December 26, 2011

Pixelfoto.hu Kiss Lá…, Thanks for your compliment _ László_ :~) Thank you also very much for your kind invitation to join the Colours Group how ever I already belong to thirty odd groups and that is more than enough for me thanks. So I'll decline the invitation, but wish the group every success. A Happy New Year to you too ~ nick

dziwnowik on January 24, 2012

I ♥ THIS PHOTO !!!!!

    **YSL** was alerdy

♥ Best of Panoramio ♥

greetings from Poland , Peter ♥

add to group 7 ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Nick Weall on January 24, 2012

dziwnowik ~ Thank you Peter for revsiting this old favourite of yours ~ Best wishes to you ~ nick

andrew brown on February 1, 2012

Simply fantastic! Image from the Future. Great shot. Best wishes, András

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on December 15, 2008
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by Nick Weall
    • Taken on 2008/12/14 09:03:57
    • Exposure: 0.003s (1/400)
    • Focal Length: 56.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/10.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO400
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash