Massive Olympic sculpture rises in Stratford
The ArcelorMittal Orbit, the 114.5m high sculpture that will sit at the heart of the Olympic Park, has completed a crucial phase of construction, with seven 20 tonne rings lifted into place.
They will form the key structural base for the top two thirds of the structure, dubbed ‘The Corkscrew’, which will host two visitor viewing platforms.
A collaboration between artist Anish Kapoor and designer and engineer Cecil Balmond, the �22m Orbit is already more than one third complete, currently standing at 70m tall with the seven rings in place on the site
It will be the tallest sculpture in the UK when topped off and promises to be an iconic element of the London 2012 Olympics.
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Expected to be open by next March, it will operate as a visitor attraction in the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, offering changing views of the Park and the city beyond.
The seven rings that have been fitted in place were lifted using a 450 tonne crawler crane, taking around six hours each to fit.
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Liftshafts are also in place, which saw the on-site team lifting the liftshafts up and over the existing tower and down into the 24.5m deep foundations.
Ian Louden, Head of Brand, Worldwide at ArcelorMittal, said: “It is a feat of both engineering and design, and it is exciting to see the sculpture unfold as this epic construction phase is completed.
“The next phase will be even more impressive as the looping lattice and spirals take shape.”
Malcolm Ross, an Executive Director at the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said the sculpture will become one of the world’s most spectacular visitor attractions combining cutting-edge design with stunning views.
“It is a truly inspirational structure and iconic symbol for the future Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.”
ArcelorMittal will fund up to �19.6million of the cost.