Olympics 2012: ArcelorMittal Orbit officially unveiled today at the Olympic Park
Olympic Orbit, the looping red tower that looms over London’s Olympic Stadium, is being officially unveiled today.
The completed steel sculpture – known as ArcelorMittal Orbit – stands at the heart of the Olympic Park.
It was designed by Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor and structural designer Cecil Balmond.
From the end of July, visitors will be able to climb on the £22.7 million ($36 million) structure to take in panoramic views across London’s skyline.
Tickets will cost £15 ($24) and £7 ($12) for children. Anish Kapoor described the charges as “a hell of a lot of money”
“This thing has to be paid for, but there’s a push to keep that cost as low as possible,” he said.
After the Olympics, the public won’t be able to access the Orbit until Easter 2014 – when the South Plaza is opened up.
Ticket prices have not been announced for the full opening from 2014.
Members of the media were given a sneak preview of the experience on Friday morning.
At 114.5 metres (376 ft), the Orbit is the tallest sculpture in the UK – twice the height of Nelson’s Column.
The tangled steel lattice – 63% of which is recycled steel – incorporates the five Olympic rings.
“We wanted to make something that was kind of a deconstruction of the tower,” said Anish Kapoor.
“Towers are almost always symmetrical,” he continued, saying the Orbit’s twisted loops were “the refusal of a singular image”.
It is hoped the tower will help to attract 1 million visitors a year to Stratford’s Olympic Park.