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Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Theme-park skyscraper
In another guise, this would be a proposal from Rem Koolhaas, in line with all he's written about Delirious New York and other crazy stuff. But actually, it's a developer-led, and very real, project to build a skyscraper in Birmingham that will house a freefall parachute drop the outside of the tower, a flight trainer taking thrill-seekers over the edge of the tower terrace 300 feet up, a gyro tower ride which will take up to 50 passengers to the highest point where they can enjoy a panoramic view, a bungee drop ride, an eight seat giant drop, and a high level seesaw ride. It will be illuminated with laser lighting, making it visible for miles around and accentuating the iconic nature of the development. Two storeys at the top of the building will comprise a restaurant and integral bar, observation area with bar/cafe, three ride lifts and one service lift.

It's just been submitted for planning permission and as it has been developed very much in partnership with the city council, I'm sure there are some powerful backers within the elected members and indeed the planning department. What the residents of the city think, I have no idea. It's scheduled to be sited in the 170ha Eastside regeneration area to the east of the new Bullring, which is meant to have 'heritage' at its heart - the industrial relics of canals, warehouses and viaducts. It's really very central indeed. They've just announced the tender for the design of the park itself which will be at the heart of the area.

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