“ Traditionally a tower is pyramidal in structure, but we have done quite the opposite… I wanted the sensation of instability, something that was continually in movement… You need to journey round the object, and through it. Like a Tower of Babel, it requires real participation from the public”
— Anish Kapoor, Designer of the Olympic Orbit
LOOMING LARGE: It’s big, it’s red and 115m high — the Anish Kapoor/Cecil Balmond designed ArcelorMittal Orbit, was always meant to walk on the wild side between art and engineering. Dubbed the “Olympic helter-skelter”, Kapoor wanted to symbolize radical advances in the architectural field by combining sculpture and structural engineering.
Britain’s richest man and steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal (hence the name tag) agreed to fund £16m of the £19,1m costs after Boris Johnson apparently pitched him the idea in the cloakroom in Davos. The Orbit is also Britain’s largest piece of public art and was created as a permanent lasting legacy of London’s hosting of the 2012 Summer Olympics.