|The London Eye, sometimes called the Millennium Wheel, is the first-built
and largest observation wheel in the world and has been since its opening
at the end of 1999. It stands 135 metres (443 feet) high on the western end
of Jubilee Gardens, on the South Bank of the River Thames in Lambeth,
London, England, between Westminster and Hungerford Bridges. It is adjacent
to London's County Hall, and stands opposite the offices of the Ministry of
Defence situated in Westminster which it overlooks to the west.
Designed by architects David Marks and Julia Barfield, the wheel carries
32 sealed, air conditioned, passenger capsules attached to its external
circumference. It rotates at a rate of 0.26 metres per second so that one
revolution takes about 30 minutes to complete. The wheel does not usually
stop to take on passengers; the rotation rate is so slow that passengers can
easily walk on and off the moving capsules at ground level. It is, however,
stopped on occasion to allow disabled or elderly passengers time to alight
safely. Structurally the Eye resembles a huge spoked bicycle wheel, and was
depicted as such in a poster advertising a charity cycle race.