A cursory glance at the red-looped tower next to the Olympic Stadium and you could be forgiven for mistaking it as one of Tim Burton's film sets. However, the sculpture - the ArcleorMittal Orbit - is now the UK's tallest sculpture, after construction was recently completed.
Standing 114.5 meters tall, the sculpture was completed on Friday, when the final steel loop was put into place. Created at a whopping £22.7 million, the ArcelorMittal Orbit was designed by Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor and structural designer Cecil Balmond. A tangled steel lattice incorporating the five Olympic rings, it is hoped the tower will attract one million visitors a year to Stratford's Olympic Park, reported the BBC.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture, 22 metres taller than the Statue of Liberty, will have two observation floors and a spiral staircase consisting of 455 steps. The iconic attraction hopes visitors will be attracted by the architectural design and detailed integration; enough to want to take the elevator to the top and then maybe walk down the spiral staircase. According to some estimates, the structure could generate up to £10 million in revenue per annum and will be a "must-visit" place during the London Olympics.
Steel baron Lakshmi N. Mittal, Chairman and CEO of Arcelor Mittal, has invested £19.6 million in to the ArcelorMittal Orbit, while the remaining £3.1 million was provided by the Greater London Authority.
"Speaking on behalf of our employees across the world, it gives me great pride to see the ArcelorMittal Orbit finally reveal its full height - it is an ideal showcase for the versatility of steel," said Mittal, "We conceived this project in partnership with Mayor Boris Johnson, Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond, not only to provide an iconic, cutting-edge centrepiece for London 2012, but to ensure the Olympic legacy will stretch well beyond the Games itself, helping to ensure the ongoing regeneration of this part of London."
A joyous Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, hailed the UK's tallest sculpture as an "iconic addition to London's skyline for decades."
"What better calling card for London 2012 than a piece of truly spectacular modern British art to drive visitors to east London in perpetuity. 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," said the Mayor.