Stratford Orbit features in new passport design

Anish Kapoor's ArcelorMittal Orbit features in the new British passport design. Picture: HM Passport

Anish Kapoor's ArcelorMittal Orbit features in the new British passport design. Picture: HM Passport Office - Credit: HM Passport Office

The ArcelorMittal Orbit, designed by renowned sculptor Anish Kapoor for the London 2012 Olympic and Parlympic Games, is to feature in the new British passport design.

It’s fair to say not everyone is a fan of the twisting, red steel structure that remains a prominent feature of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the Stratford skyline.

Nevertheless, the good people behind the redesign of the passport have seen fit to give the UK’s tallest sculpture a showing on the most British thing there is. Cue further disgruntlement.

Perhaps the design will garner more fans when a tunnel slide is affixed to it, planned for Spring next year. As it is, the Orbit shares a page in the passport with other works by Kapoor including Marsyas and Temenos.

Peter Tudor, director of visitor services at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park said: “We’re thrilled that the iconic ArcelorMittal Orbit will be featured on the new passport design. It’s a great piece of London’s ever-changing skyline.”


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A new passport is launched every five years, so there’s a chance you’ll never even own this version which includes cultural icons from Willian Shakespeare to Charles Babbage and other iconic structures including the Angel of the North.

HM Passport Office director general, Mark Thomson, said: “I am proud to launch the new United Kingdom passport which celebrates the creativity of Great Britain and Northern Ireland over the past 500 years to the present day.”

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Security is as much of a factor in the passport’s design as anything. This version is said to be the most secure the UK has ever produced.

Mr Thomson said: “HM Passport Office is committed to ensuring the integrity of the passport, and the chosen designs have allowed us to make use of evolving technology to further enhance its security.

“Not only are we constantly striving to stay one step ahead of those who seek to undermine the passport, but we have created a document that marks just some of the greatest creative achievements in the UK.”

The new passport will be rolled out in a phased approach with the first due to be in circulation from December 2015.

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