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Мерлин развлечения Лондонский глаз (более известный просто как London Eye, а также известный как Колесо тысячелетия), на высоте 135 метров (443 футов), является крупнейшим колесом обозрения в Европе, и стала самой популярной платных туристско привлечение в Великобритании, посетило более трех миллионов человек в год. В то время он был возведен в 1999 году, это было самое высокое колесо обозрения в мире, пока не был превзойден Звезда Наньчан (160 м) в мае 2006 года, а затем Flyer Сингапур (165 м) 11 февраля 2008 года . Тем не менее, он по-прежнему описывается ее операторы, как "высокое в мире колесо наблюдения консольной» (как вся структура поддерживает рамки только с одной стороны).
Обозрения London Eye расположен в западной части Юбилейный сад, на южном берегу реки Темзы в Лондоне округ Lambeth в Англии, между Вестминстерский мост и мост Hungerford. На сайте есть рядом с этой бывшей Купол Discovery, который был построен для фестиваля Великобритании в 1951 году.
The Merlin Entertainments London Eye (known more simply as The London Eye, and also known as the Millennium Wheel), at a height of 135 metres (443 ft), is the largest Ferris wheel in Europe, and has become the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom, visited by over three million people in one year. At the time it was erected, in 1999, it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, until it was surpassed by the Star of Nanchang (160 m) in May 2006, and then the Singapore Flyer (165 m) on 11 February 2008. However, it is still described by its operators as "the world's tallest cantilevered observation wheel" (as the entire structure is supported by an A-frame on one side only).
The London Eye is located at the western end of Jubilee Gardens, on the South Bank of the River Thames in the London Borough of Lambeth in England, between Westminster Bridge and Hungerford Bridge. The site is adjacent to that of the former Dome of Discovery, which was built for the Festival of Britain in 1951.
Design and construction
The wheel carries 32 sealed and air-conditioned egg-shaped passenger capsules, attached to its external circumference, each capsule representing one of the London Boroughs. Each 10 tonne capsule holds 25 people, who are free to walk around inside the capsule, though seating is provided. It rotates at 26 cm (10 in) per second (about 0.9 km/h or 0.6 mph) so that one revolution takes about 30 minutes. The wheel does not usually stop to take on passengers; the rotation rate is slow enough to allow passengers to walk on and off the moving capsules at ground level. It is, however, stopped to allow disabled or elderly passengers time to embark and disembark safely.
The rim of the Eye is supported by tie rods and resembles a huge spoked bicycle wheel, and was depicted as such in a poster advertising a charity cycle race. The lighting for the London Eye was redone with LED lighting from Color Kinetics in December 2006 to allow digital control of the lights as opposed to the manual replacement of gels over fluorescent tubes.
The wheel was designed by architects David Marks, Julia Barfield, Malcolm Cook, Mark Sparrowhawk, Steven Chilton, Frank Anatole and Nic Bailey. Mace were responsible for construction management with Hollandia as the main steelwork contractor and Tilbury Douglas as the civils contractor. Consulting engineers Tony Gee & Partners designed the foundation works while Beckett Rankine designed the marine works.
The wheel was constructed in sections which were floated up the Thames on barges and assembled lying flat on piled platforms in the river. Once the wheel was complete it was raised into an upright position by a strand jack system, at 2 degrees an hour until it reached 65 degrees. It was left in that position for a week while engineers prepared for the second phase of the lift. The total weight of steel in the Eye is 1,700 tonnes (1,870 short tons). The project was European with major components coming from six countries: the steel was supplied from the UK and fabricated in The Netherlands by the Dutch company Hollandia, the cables came from Italy, the bearings came from Germany (FAG/Schaeffler Group), the spindle and hub were cast in the Czech Republic, the capsules were made by Poma in France (and the glass for these came from Italy), and the electrical components from the UK.
Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners (NLP) assisted the operators of the London Eye, the Tussauds Group, in obtaining planning and listed building consent to alter the Wheel on the South Bank of the Thames. NLP also examined and reported on the implications of a S106 attached to the original contract.
NLP also prepared planning and listed building consent applications for the permanent retention of the attraction on behalf of the London Eye Company. This has involved the co-ordination of an Environmental Statement and the production of a planning supporting statement detailing the reasons for its retention.
The London Eye was formally opened by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, on 31 December 1999, although it was not opened to the public until March 2000 because of technical problems. Since its opening, the Eye, operated by Merlin Entertainments, has become a major landmark and tourist attraction.
By July 2002, 8.5 million people had ridden the Eye. It had planning permission only for five years, but at that time Lambeth Council agreed to plans to make the attraction permanent.
Since 1 January 2005, the Eye has been the focal point of London's New Year celebrations, with 10-minute fireworks displays taking place involving fireworks fired from the wheel itself.
In 2008 the Tussauds Group bought out the other two joint owners, British Airways and the Marks Barfield family (the lead architects). Following Merlin Entertainments purchase of the Tussauds Group in 2007, it now owns 100% of the Eye. British Airways continued its brand association, but from the beginning of 2008 the name 'British Airways' was dropped from the logo.
On 12 August 2009 the London Eye saw another re-brand, this time calling it "The Merlin Entertainments London Eye" to show Merlin Entertainments' ownership. A new logo was designed for the attraction - this time taking the actual form of an eye made out of London's famous landmarks. This also came at the time when the new Merlin Entertainments London Eye 4D Experience pre-flight show was launched underneath the ticket centre in County Hall.
The exterior, left, and interior, right, of one of the 32 sealed and air conditioned passenger capsules.
During the bidding process of the 2012 Olympic Games, the London bid organisers announced the Olympic emblem would be attached to the Eye for the duration of the 2012 Summer Olympics.
On 5 June 2008 it was announced that 30 million people had ridden the London Eye since its opening in March 2000.
In 2009 Merlin Entertainments opened a pre-flight 4D Experience at The London Eye, which is included in the ticket price. The newly refurbished ticket hall and 4D cinema experience was designed by architects Kay Elliott working with Merlin Sudios project designer Craig Sciba. Merlin Studios later appointed Simex-Iwerks as the 4D theatre hardware specialists.
On 20 May 2005, there were reports of a leaked letter showing that the South Bank Centre (SBC) — owners of part of the land on which the struts of the eye are located — had served a notice to quit on the attraction along with a demand for an increase in rent from £64,000 per year to £2.5 million, which the operators rejected as unaffordable.
On 25 May 2005, London mayor Ken Livingstone vowed that the landmark would remain in London. He also pledged that if the row were not resolved he would use his powers to ask the London Development Agency to issue a compulsory purchase order. The land in question is a small part of the Jubilee Gardens, which was given to the SBC for £1 when the Greater London Council was broken up.
The South Bank Centre and the British Airways London Eye agreed a 25-year lease on 8 February 2006, after a judicial review over the rent row. The lease agreement meant that the South Bank Centre, a publicly-funded charity, would receive at least £500,000 a year from the attraction, the status of which is secured for the foreseeable future. Tussauds also announced the acquisition of the entire one-third interests of British Airways and the Marks Barfield family in the Eye, as well as the outstanding debt to BA. These agreements gave Tussauds 100% ownership of the Eye and resolved the debt from the Eye's construction loan from British Airways, which stood at more than £150 million by mid-2005 and had been increasing at 25% per annum.
Sir Richard Rogers, winner of the 2007 Pritzker Architecture Prize, wrote of the London Eye in a book about the project,
The Eye has done for London what the Eiffel Tower did for Paris, which is to give it a symbol and to let people climb above the city and look back down on it. Not just specialists or rich people, but everybody. That's the beauty of it: it is public and accessible, and it is in a great position at the heart of London.
Writing for G2 in an article from August 2007, Steve Rose described the Eye as follows, The Eye... exists in a category of its own.... It essentially has to fulfil only one function, and what a brilliantly inessential function it is: to lift people up from the ground, take them round a giant loop in the sky, then put them back down where they started. That is all it needs to do, and thankfully, that is all it does.
A predecessor to the London Eye, the Great Wheel, was built for the Empire of India Exhibition at Earls Court in 1895. Construction began in March 1894 and it opened to the public on July 17, 1895. Modelled on the original Chicago Ferris Wheel, it was 94 metres (310 ft) tall and was the first of over 200 Ferris wheels built by Australian engineers Adam Gaddelin and Gareth Watson. It stayed in service until 1906, by which time its 40 cars (each with a capacity of 40 persons) had carried over 2.5 million passengers, and was demolished in 1907.
The nearest London Underground station is Waterloo, although Westminster is also within easy walking distance. Connection with National Rail services is made at London Waterloo station.
London River Services operated by Thames Clipper and City Cruises stop at the nearby Waterloo Millennium Pier.