New London Award Transport and Infrastructure 2013
Structural Steel Design Award 2013
RIBA Awards Shortlisted, 2013
ICE Evening Standard People’s Choice Award 2013
Emirates Air Lines Cable Car is the first urban cable car system in the UK and its path across the River Thames links two major landmark venues, the O2 Arena and Excel Exhibition and Conference Centre. Both venues, which sit either side of the river, have been major catalysts to the regeneration and transformation of their localities and the wider East London area.
This new physical link provides a direct connection as well as a dramatic and memorable experience for residents and visitors, while supporting the Mayor's vision to transform this area into a bustling metropolitan quarter with new businesses, homes and job opportunities.
The scheme comprises several distinct elements, the design of which gave WilkinsonEyre the opportunity to create a highly recognisable piece of infrastructure. The Air Line's sculpted towers rise high above the Thames, formed from a series of steel ribbons and arranged as a tapering spiral. The ribbons are held in place by a helical tie that corkscrews up the inside of the structure. The effect achieved is of lightness and movement, with the loose curves of the central helix providing the necessary stiffness with the least amount of steel.
The project was completed to an extremely tight timescale, including planning approval, to be ready for the start of the Olympic Games in June 2012.