Emirates Air Line Experience, Greenwich Peninsula, London

Wilkinsion Eyre in association with Expedition Engineering and Buro Happold
Date Built
Greenwich Peninsula to Royal Victoria Dock
The Emirates Air Line Experience, also referred to as the Thames Cable Car, is the latest addition to London's public transit system.  Built in time for the 2012 Olympics, it crosses the Thames near Greenwich connecting the O2 Arena with the EXCEL Conference Centre, both of which were Olympic Venues.  The cable is carried across the river at a height of 90 metres on a series of sculpted towers.  The system is capable of transporting 2,500 passengers an hour

Buro Happold say that their main focus in the project was, " ... to construct the three 90m towers that meet the cables at their highest point in the centre of the route. Particular challenges included the complex geometry of the sculptural steel cantilever towers, as well as their off-shore location. Ensuring that the cable car travels within a very narrow slither of air space was vital; too high and it will clash with the flight path of the London City Airport; too low and it could interrupt the passage of large vessels in the river. "

The estimated cost of the system was £60m.  Wilkinson Eyre say of it that, "The scheme comprises a number of distinct elements, the design of which has offered the opportunity to create a highly recognisable piece of infrastructure. The cable car should be seen as an asset to the area on which it lands on either side of the river, both in functional and in visual terms. While the sculpted forms of the towers rising high above the Thames have the potential to become the iconic feature of the scheme, ...... 

..... the stations at either end perform an important function as the gateways denoting the beginning and end of what will be a memorable journey. The architecture of the stations relates to that of other elements on the system.

- The Royal Dock Terminal -

- The Greenwich Terminal -

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