Glasgow Photo Library
- Science Centre and Tower
This tourist attraction is really three for the price of one - an IMAX large screen cinema, three floors of a Science Centre and a 400 feet high rotating tower. The complex is located at Pacific Quay, beside the river Clyde, on a site which was used for the Glasgow Garden Festival in 1998. The project cost £75 million to build, with much of the funding provided by the Millennium Commission.
The IMAX cinema, which opened in autumn 2000, is the first structure in Britain to be clad in titanium panels. The only other building in Europe using the material in this way is the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. With its 80ft by 60ft screen and 12,000 watt sound system (which makes the floor reverberate), the IMAX cinema is the first of its kind in Scotland.
The three floors and 10,500 square metres (113,000 square feet) of the Science Centre (also clad in titanium at the back - the frontage, overlooking the river, has glass windows) opened in June 2001. It is fitted-out with interactive exhibits, virtual reality demonstrations, Space Theatre and a planetarium, all aimed at both entertaining and educating its visitors.
The 125 metres (400 feet) high Glasgow Tower is the highest building in Scotland and the only tower in the world which rotates through 360 degrees. The tower itself has been designed like the aerofoil of an aircraft's wing. Motors under computer control ensure that the tower always points into the wind, reducing wind resistance - and allowing it to be exceptionally slim for its height. Underneath the tower are a series of rooms with multi-media image and sound presentations showing Glasgow's past, present - and future. There are two rack-and-pinion lifts taking visitors to an observation platform, 340 feet high where there is a breathtaking panorama of the surrounding area.
See also Bird's Eye View from Glasgow Tower> for more information and illustrations.
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