21 Facts About ArcelorMittal Orbit


ArcelorMittal Orbit was designed by Turner-Prize winning artist Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond of Arup Group, an engineering firm.

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Designers were asked for ideas for an "Olympic tower" at least 100 metres high: ArcelorMittal Orbit was the unanimous choice from proposals considered by a nine-person advisory panel.

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Kapoor and Balmond believed that ArcelorMittal Orbit represented a radical advance in the architectural field of combining sculpture and structural engineering, and that it combined both stability and instability in a work that visitors can engage with and experience via an incorporated spiral walkway.

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The name "ArcelorMittal Orbit" combines the name of Mittal's company, as chief sponsor, with Orbit, the original working title for Kapoor and Balmond's design.

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ArcelorMittal Orbit temporarily closed after the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games while the South Plaza underwent reconstruction for its long-term legacy use as a public outdoor space.

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ArcelorMittal Orbit is described as "designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond".

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Organic design of ArcelorMittal Orbit demanded an extraordinary amount of structural engineering work.

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ArcelorMittal Orbit is located in the southern area of the Olympic Park, between London Stadium and the Aquatics Centre.

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Tessa Jowell said ArcelorMittal Orbit will be "like to honey to bees for the millions of tourists that visit London each year".

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ArcelorMittal Orbit saw it as an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for London, showcase the "unique qualities of steel" and play a role in the regeneration of Stratford.

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In October 2012, ArcelorMittal Orbit was nominated and made the Building Design magazine shortlist for the Carbuncle Cup—an award for the worst British building completed in the past year, which was ultimately awarded to the Cutty Sark renovation.

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ArcelorMittal Orbit feared that it could become one of the many "thousands of naff eyesores" of recent public art in Britain, citing the embracing couple at St Pancras station, the Dockland's Traffic Light tree, and the proposed Rotherhithe Tunnel 'match-stick man' tribute to Isambard Kingdom Brunel, as London-based examples.

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ArcelorMittal Orbit speculated that the project might mark the time when society stops using large iconic projects as a tool for lifting areas out of deprivation.

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ArcelorMittal Orbit questioned its ability to draw people's attention to Stratford after the Games, in a similar manner to the successes of the Angel of the North or the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

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ArcelorMittal Orbit questioned the piece's ability to strike a chord like the Angel, which he believed had at least "created a feelgood factor and sense of pride" in Gateshead, or whether it would simply become one of the "many more unloved rotting wrecks that no one has the nerve to demolish".

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ArcelorMittal Orbit postulated that the addition of stairs and a lift made Orbit less succinct than Kapoor's previous successful works, while ultimately he said "hard to see what the big idea is, beyond the idea of making something big".

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Felicity Carus of The Guardian's environment blog questioned whether ArcelorMittal's record on carbon emissions was good enough to mean Orbit represented a fitting monument for the 2012 Olympics, billed as a 'world's first sustainable Olympics'.

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ArcelorMittal Orbit said that it was prepared to meet the former inmates' demands but the local authorities were ultimately responsible for granting permission.

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In July 2012, ahead of the start of the 2012 London Olympic Games, survivors of the camp laid claim to the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower, located in the Olympic Park beside the Olympic stadium, as the 'Omarska Memorial in Exile'.

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The survivors allege that the ArcelorMittal Orbit is "tragically intertwined with the history of war crimes in Bosnia, as the bones of victims are mixed in with the iron ore".

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ArcelorMittal Orbit said that sensitive issues relating to the mine could not be addressed by ArcelorMittal on its own.

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