Launch ceremony held for Olympic sculpture
The ArcelorMittal Orbit was officially launched today in a ceremony attended by the design team and London mayor Boris Johnson.
Structural work is now complete and fit-out work will start later this month to prepare the 114.5m-tall sculpture for use as a tourist attraction.
Engineer Cecil Balmond, who designed the Orbit with artist Anish Kapoor, said: “Anish and I were conscious from the beginning that the Orbit would be a lasting legacy to the city and so we wanted to stretch the language of the icon as far as we could go.
“The Orbit is a hybrid, a network of art and structure, and its dynamic is the non-linear. You read into it multiple narratives in space.”
Construction of the sculpture took 18 months and used 560m of tubular red steel to form the main structure.
Visitors will be able to take a lift to a viewing platform and descend via a spiral staircase with 455 steps.
Listen to BD features editor Oliver Wainwright talk about the Orbit on Radio 4’s Today programme (around 00:02:35 - programme on 11 May, 2012).
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