Project Location: The Emirates Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth

Posted on in the category Projects, Decorative Protective Coatings, Buildings & Commercial Construction, Coastal Structures.


Decorative and protective coating of concrete legs of the structure in a distinctive colour scheme


The Emirates Spinnaker Tower is a visitor and educational attraction which soars 170 metres above Portsmouth Harbour, taller than the London Eye and visible from 23 miles away. Originally a Millennium Project, the Tower was built as the centrepiece of the Renaissance of Portsmouth Harbour Project. Designed by HGP Architects, engineering consultants Scott Wilson and built by Mowlem, the Emirates Spinnaker Tower has a distinctive sail design reflecting Portsmouth’s maritime heritage. There are three viewing decks offering 350° panoramic views across the city, harbour, sea and coastline.

As part of a major £3.5 million five-year partnership between Portsmouth City Council and Dubai-based Emirates Airline, the exterior of the Tower needed to be repainted to reflect Emirates’ naming rights. The structure was named the Emirates Spinnaker Tower in time for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series sailing event which took place in Portsmouth in the summer of 2015.

The Solution

The Tower was painted in Monodex Smooth in blue and white for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. Monodex Smooth is a water-based, high build, elastomeric, decorative coating which was specified due to its protective properties, fast curing nature and ease of application by brush, roller or airless spray. This was crucial as the coating was applied by specialist access contractors The Abseilers Limited, so they were able to rapidly apply the coating by brush and roller to the concrete legs of the structure whilst using roped access equipment and techniques.

The bottom 50 metres of the concrete legs were painted in a special Portsmouth blue colour, with white above. It was then decided to enhance the appearance even further by requesting supply of Emirates’ individual corporate metallic gold colour to cover a large central section of the Tower. This led to Flexcrete developing Monodex Metallic, the world’s first metallic anti-carbonation coating which is applied as a lustrous feature finish over an existing Monodex Smooth base coat.

Monodex Smooth has an excellent track record of use worldwide in some of the world’s most hostile conditions. With durability of up to 15 years before first maintenance, it provides excellent protection against carbonation, chloride penetration and water ingress. Its chloride protection makes it ideal for use in marine environments and it is able to provide exceptional weatherproof protection even in typhoon conditions, incorporating an active biocide which prevents the growth of mould and fungi on its surface. Due to its elastomeric properties, it is able to withstand thermal and structural movement without cracking or flaking, an important factor for this project as the Tower can flex by up to 150mm in high winds. Monodex Smooth and Monodex Metallic are both single component products with excellent colour retention and strong UV resistance.


Portsmouth City Council


The Abseilers Limited

Download DocumentSpinnaker Tower - Project Profile

Flexcrete’s Coatings Give Decorative Finish for Emirates Spinnaker Tower

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The Spinnaker Tower from the Air

Take a look at our this stunning aerial footage of the newly coated Spinnaker Tower: