The London Eye, erected in 1999, is a giant 135-metre (443ft) tall rotating wheel situated near Jubilee Gardens on the banks of the Thames. The wheel carries 32 sealed and air-conditioned egg-shaped passenger capsules, attached to its external circumference, each capsule representing one of the London boroughs.
The Eye was opened to the public on 9 March 2000 after some initial technical problems.
The wheel, formally opened by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, on 31 December 1999, was designed by married-couple architects David Marks and Julia Barfield*, who live in Stockwell. Merlin Entertainments now owns 100 per cent of the Eye.
The Eye is a critical plot device in the first episode of the 2005 Doctor Who series Rose; featured in the 2007 children’s mystery novel The London Eye Mystery; featured in the 2007 film Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
*Barfield and Marks were the primary architects. Other designers include Malcolm Cook, Mark Sparrowhawk, Steven Chilton, Frank Anatole and Nic Bailey.
Painting: Kind permission of Enid Lawson Gallery.