The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. As of January 2015, it has been advertised as the Coca-Cola London Eye.
The structure is 443 feet (135 m) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 394 feet (120 m). When it opened to the public in 2000 it was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. Its height was surpassed by the 520 feet (158 m) tall Star of Nanchang in 2006, the 541 feet (165 m) tall Singapore Flyer in 2008, and the 550 feet (168 m) High Roller (Las Vegas) in 2014. Supported by an A-frame on one side only, unlike the taller Nanchang and Singapore wheels, the Eye is described by its operators as “the world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel”.
It is Europe’s tallest Ferris wheel, and offered the highest public viewing point in London until it was superseded by the 804 feet (245 m) observation deck on the 72nd floor of The Shard, which opened to the public on 1 February 2013. It is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom with over 3.75 million visitors annually, and has made many appearances in popular culture.
The London Eye adjoins the western end of Jubilee Gardens (previously the site of the former Dome of Discovery), on the South Bank of the River Thames between Westminster Bridge and Hungerford Bridge, in the London Borough of Lambeth.
At 135m, Coca-Cola London Eye is the world’s largest cantilevered observation wheel. It was conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects and was launched in 2000.
It has won over 85 awards for national and international tourism, outstanding architectural quality and engineering achievement. In fact, it has become the UK’s most popular paid for visitor attraction.
A remarkable feat of design and engineering, the London Eye gave London’s skyline a dramatic new addition and has been offering guests a new perspective on London ever since. Originally, it was intended as a temporary structure, able to be dismantled and transported to a new location, and had planning permission for just five years. But with millions boarding it every year, its popularity has prompted its lease to be extended. Today it is a permanent fixture on the London skyline and a beautiful symbol of modern London.