Rising 162 m (531 ft) over Brighton, the British Airways i360 is recognized as the world's skinniest tower by Guinness World Records. From Thursday, August 4, members of the public will be able to ride to the top in a futuristic glass pod, grab a beer, and enjoy what promises to be one of the best views in England.

The official launch of the British Airways i360 marks the culmination of 12 years of work for designers Marks Barfield Architects, the firm responsible for the London Eye. The project will have taken exactly two years from start of construction to opening, with the bill coming in at £42.2 million (around US$55.8 million).

From Thursday, visitors will take a sedate 20 minute (30 minutes at night) journey up the tower in a double-glazed pod and enjoy choice views of Brighton and Hove, the Sussex coast, and the English Channel.

The donut-shaped pod itself weighs 94 tonnes (105 US tons), has a capacity of up to 200 people, and includes seating and a bar, the latter only open at night. On those rare sunny British days, visibility in the pod from the maximum height of 138 m (452 ft) promises to be up to 26 miles (42 km).

The pod's descent harnesses energy regeneration tech to generate almost half of the electricity required to power its next ride up

Ticket prices start at £13.50 ($18) for adults and £6.75 ($9) per child.

View gallery - 13 images