London Olympic Tower
The Arcelor Mittal Orbit is a 115 metres (377 ft) high observation tower planned for the Olympic Park. The stunning artwork, to be entitled ‘The ArcelorMittal Orbit’, will ensure the Park remains an unrivalled visitor destination following the 2012 Games.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Lakshmi Mittal, Chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, on 31 March 2010 unveiled Award winning London-based artist Anish Kapoors design chosen to create a spectacular new visitor attraction in the Olympic Park and to act as an iconic and permanent symbol of the 2012 games, marking steelmaker’s support for 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The unveiling marks ArcelorMittal becoming a tier two sponsor of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, to support the infrastructure and success of the Games.
ArcelorMittal, led by Chairman and CEO Lakshmi Mittal, will fund £16 million of the £19.1 million project, with the outstanding £3.1 million provided by the London Development Agency. It will make a significant financial contribution to the long-term regeneration of East London.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit, the largest artistic commission in the world, will harness state-of-the-art engineering and architectural techniques. Constructed with steel provided by ArcelorMittal, the sculpture will consist of a continuous looping lattice of tubular steel and offer unparalleled view of the entire Olympic Park and London’s skyline from a special viewing platform.
The steel sculpture will be Britain’s largest piece of public art, and is intended to be a permanent, lasting legacy of London’s hosting of the 2012 Summer Olympics, Orbit was designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond. the tower is expected to be completed by December 2011 at the latest.
Orbit London 2012- A new way of thinking
Kapoor said one of the influences in his design for the tower was the Tower of Babel, the sense of “building the impossible” that “has something mythic about it.”, and that the form “straddles Eiffel and Tatlin”. Balmond, working on the metaphor of an orbit, envisaged an electron cloud moving, to create a structure that appears unstable, propping itself up, “never centred, never quite vertical” Both believe Orbit represents a new way of thinking, “a radical new piece of structure and architecture and art” which utilises non-linearity – the use of “instabilities as stabilities.”
Authority have stated that it will become, when completed, the tallest sculpture in Britain, currently ‘Aspire’ at 60m. According to The Independent and The Guardian it will become Britain’s largest piece of public art. The authority itself on announcing the project, chose to describe Orbit’s height in comparison to the Statue of Liberty, relaying how it will be 22 metres (72 ft) taller than that iconic New York City landmark.
The structure’s height was also compared in the media with other London landmarks. It was described as being “slightly taller” or “nearly 20 metres (66 ft) taller” than the Big Ben clock tower, the centrepiece of the Palace of Westminster. It was also described as being “twice as tall” or “more than double the height” of Nelson’s Column, the monument honouring Admiral Nelson located in Trafalgar Square.
About Anish Kapoor
One of the world’s most distinguished contemporary artists, Turner Prize winner Anish Kapoor studied in London, where he is now based. Well known for his use of rich pigment and imposing, yet popular works, such as the fleshy , vast and trumpet-like Marsyas, which filled the Tate’s Turbine Hall as part of the Unilever Series, the giant reflecting, pod like sculpture Cloud Gate in Chicago’s Millennium Park and his recent record breaking show at the Royal Academy, the most successful exhibition ever presented by a contemporary artist in London.
ArcelorMittal is the world’s leading steel company, with operations in more than 60 countries. ArcelorMittal is the leader in all major global steel markets, including automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging, with leading R&D and technology, as well as sizeable captive supplies of raw materials and outstanding distribution networks. With an industrial presence in over 20 countries spanning four continents, the Company covers all of the key steel markets, from emerging to mature.