Bristol is set to become the first city in the world to host Arc – a glass cabin suspended between two super-strong carbon fibre masts that lift up to 42 passengers into the sky and take them on a 20-minute scenic flight.
Arc is the brainchild of local architect Nick Stubbs, who wants people to be able to see beautiful places from above, where their origins and history unfold in unexpected ways. Nick also wanted to create something that did not sit permanently in the skyline, but which would instead rise and fall, leaving the cityscape largely unchanged.
Once inside the cabin passengers will be lifted as the masts pivot on a 3.2-metre diameter base in Millennium Square. The 360˚ views of Bristol’s historic sites will give a unique perspective with a pilot on-board to explain the City’s history.
Arc will bring a new iconic landmark, something totally unique and a global first. This is great news for Bristol, it will really put our city in the international spotlight once again.
For the construction, Arc will use carbon fibre composites for the huge masts that carry the glass cabin and are collaborating with local universities and structural experts to assess and design Arc’s complex mechanisms, including how Arc will move in different weather conditions. Power will come from solar panels located on the roof of its departure lounge and the energy will be stored in yacht batteries which will also recharge as the electric motors slow down.
Arc is estimated to generate up to £8.3m towards Bristol’s tourism market every year, £5m of which will be new revenue, supporting 118 high-quality jobs, especially pilots and engineers, marketing, curation and creative roles.