Article from The Telegraph, Friday 20th January 2012. Image courtesy of ArcelorMittal.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson joined Lakshmi Mittal, the chairman and chief executive of ArcelorMittal at the viewing platform of the ArcelorMittal Orbit, the unique sculpture that stands next to the Olympic Stadium.
The pair were joined by both of the designers of the structure – Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond – who enjoyed the 20-mile views from the top.
The sculpture is the tallest of its kind in the UK and will accommodate up to 5,000 visitors a day, each with the opportunity to take the lift up to the public viewing platforms and down using the 455-step spiral staircase.
Since it reached its full height of 114.5m in October 2011, the sculpture is currently in a fit-out stage before being handed over to Locog for the Games this summer.
In October last year Johnson gave the sculpture his full backing, and hailed the Orbit as an “iconic” addition to the skyline of the capital.
“What better calling card for London 2012 than a piece of truly spectacular modern British art to drive visitors to east London in perpetuity,” said Johnson.
“It would have boggled the minds of the Romans. It would have dwarfed the aspirations of Gustave Eiffel, and it will certainly be worthy of the best show on earth, in the greatest city on earth.
“And as the final giant steel loop is swung into place, lifting the ArcelorMittal Orbit to its full height, we are truly witnessing the most significant iconic addition to London’s skyline for decades.”
Estimates suggest that the venue will generate up to £10 million of revenue per year and create up to 50 new jobs once the dust has settled on the Games.