Set to be the tallest sculpture in the UK, the ArcelorMittal Orbit promises to be an iconic element of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Designed by artist Anish Kapoor and designer, and engineer, Cecil Balmond, the structure is now 70m tall – almost half of its eventual height of 114.5m. Work has begun on installing the lift shaft and seven 20 tonne rings were lifted into place last month.
When completed in March 2012, the ArcelorMittal Orbit will have two observation floors giving visitors a stunning view across London’s skyline. It will be made up of 1,500 tonnes of steel and will sit between the Stadium and the Aquatics Centre in the south plaza.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit will be owned by the Olympic Park Legacy Company, which is currently appointing an operator for the venue. With the potential to attract up to one million visitors in its first year, it will become a major attraction in the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Malcolm Ross, Executive Director of Venues and Operations at the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said:
“The ArcelorMittal Orbit is already changing the face of East London’s skyline and will become one of the world’s most spectacular visitor attractions combining cutting-edge design with stunning views. It is a truly inspirational structure and iconic symbol for the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.”
Ian Louden, Head of Brand at ArcelorMittal, said:
“Every day during the construction of the ArcelorMittal Orbit, we see that steel is the only material with the right properties to realize the project.
“It is a feat of both engineering and design, and it is exciting to see the sculpture develop. This timelapse footage will allow more people to appreciate the epic construction process underway.”
The ArcelorMittal Orbit’s design seeks to challenge the traditional concept of a tall structure, forming instead an ‘orbital’ exploration in space. The sculpture will consist of a continuous looping lattice of tubular steel.
Visitors will be able to take a trip up the structure in a lift and will have the option of walking down the spiraling staircase to experience its changing form.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit will be licensed to LOCOG between May and October 2012 before being reopened in summer 2013 for the public.
Plans for the ArcelorMittal Orbit form part of the Legacy Company’s ambition for the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to become a major destination – a new part of London which will include new housing, schools, health centres and offices, along with the running of venues such as the Stadium, Aquatics Centre, Multi-Use Arena and Press & Broadcast Centres.