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Olympic Park Visitors Will Be Able To Tower Over London From The Newly Done ArcelorMittal Orbit

Just in time for the start of the Olympic Games this month, the Olympic Park’s twisting ArcelorMittal Orbit tower reaching approximately 115 meters into the sky (22 meters taller than the State Of Liberty) has now been completed and will be open to visitors, giving them a panoramic view of London.

ArcelorMittal Orbit tower. Photo courtesy of anishkapoor.com.

The Orbit is situated between the Olympic Stadium and the Aquatics Center. The steel company ArcelorMittal said that visitors to the games “will be able to travel up to the viewing platform (with tickets) and enjoy a panoramic view up to 20 miles, encompassing the entire Olympic Park and London’s skyline beyond.”

ArcelorMittal also said that, “Visitors will be able to take a trip to the top of the structure in a lift and down too if they wish, although they will be encouraged to walk down the spiral staircase, which has 455 steps and has been designed to enable the guests to experience the feeling that they are orbiting around the structure as they descend it.”

Designer Anish Kapoor explained in the project’s portfolio that he “wanted the sensation of instability, something that was continually in movement.”

Kapoor said in accomplishing his vision that, “Traditionally, a tower is pyramidal in structure, but we have done quite the opposite, we have a flowing, coiling form that changes as you walk around it.”

“It is an object that cannot be perceived as having a singular image from any one perspective. You need to journey around the object, and through it. Like a Tower of Babel, it requires real participation from the public,” added Kapoor.

The Orbit will be able to accommodate around 5,000 visitors a day, and a capacity to accommodate between 400 to 600 people per hour, and include full wheelchair access, according to ArcelorMittal.

Construction of the Orbit took about 18 months and required about 560 meters of tubular red steel. Close of 60 percent of the 2,200 tons of steel used in the structure came from recycled scrap metal from Western Europe.

ArcelorMittal said that the remainder of the steel used in the Orbit “contains symbolic quantities from every continent in the world where the company has operations, reflecting the spirit of the Olympic Games, which draws together athletes across the globe.” Besides Western Europe, the Orbit also contains steel from the continents of Africa, Asia, and North & South America.

As a sponsor of the games this year, ArcelorMittal committed to funding up to £19.6 million of the £22.7 million cost of the Orbit, with the outstanding £3.1 million provided by the London Development Agency. ArcelorMittal estimates that the Orbit “will generate up to £10 million of revenue per annum.”

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