ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower Completed

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 73 months ago
ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower Completed

The twisting, cherry-red ArcelorMittal Orbit tower in the Olympic Park will be officially revealed today, although it won't open to the public until 28 July.

The tower is being unveiled with no little hyperbole: a press release likens it to St Paul's Cathedral and the Eiffel Tower, while Anish Kapoor, the artist behind it, has apparently cited Tatlin's Tower, a celebrated yet unbuilt Soviet structure, as a reference point. Standing at 114m, the tallest sculpture in the United Kingdom cost £22.7m, with £18.5m put into the kitty by steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal. A central lift will take visitors up to a viewing platform, from which they'll be able to descend by walking down the winding staircase that loops around the central core. Better start saving if you want a trip, though: a family ticket will reputedly cost £60.

What does London think of the ArcelorMittal Orbit? The lack thus far of an accepted sobriquet suggests that locals have yet to embrace the design. London 2012 organisers have brushed off the generally negative response, arguing that people will grow to like it — an argument also made for the still mostly-loathed Olympic logo.

So, Londoners, what say ye: folly or masterpiece? This time lapse video might help you decide:

See also:

Pictures of the Orbit tower from last year

Last Updated 11 May 2012


 Hasn't James Naughtie just inadvertently given the tower its sobriquet this morning on R4?

Zoe Craig

I heard that! Couldn't tell if he said arsehole or eyesore... Either way...


The rollercoaster? I guess we'll all get used to it, though Eiffel Tower it definitely ain't. Shame they didn't put a slide down the outside..


"a press release likens it to St Paul’s Cathedral"... perhaps a St Pauls made out of Meccano by a drunk. 


I'm in the minority who rather likes it. I have no coherent or rational reason why, though. I guess I just like its novelty and the splash of colour. It's going to be a regular focal point for swirling camera shots during the Games, so perhaps it will come to be seen as a true icon of London. Perhaps. The test comes after the Games, when it's closed for a long time and must once again assert itself after a period of closure.

In terms of naming, I'm going for Oddzilla.


The Twisted Gut.

I may visit it-next year. When it's cheaper.

Ben James

Unveil is a funny thing to do to something that's been nakedly looming over East London for more than a year. Perhaps someone could actually make a veil and stick it over the thing... oh wait they tried that with the stadium didn't they...


A Kapoor-show.  Up your Anish. The Moebius Rip-off. Alf Tupper's Nightmare. Helter-Skelter-Tax-shelter. Arcel-or-Bust. Mittal Manglement. Pylon-High, Sold-off-cheap. Le Tour d'Ikea. Oh My Girder. Hammerite Horror. Ronnie Orbit.

That'll do for now...

Mark Walley

Part of the reason it's lacked a name or any particular backlash is that it's ironically overshadowed by the Olympic Park. I forgot it was there till I got a train out of Liverpool Street last saturday. I think it's pretty cool, though not entirely sold on it. Give it ten years.


The Tatlin tower had more much swoop to it and so did this in model form. It had better lines then but seems to have grown up all lumpen, like a Stalinist steel works. The stairs and viewing platform don't have any of the style that they were originally depicted as having. I'd ask for a refund. 

Nicholas Shaddick

Half-Tatlin-idealism, half-Disney-sentimental cuteness, very odd. Looks like a twisted gut to me.

Andy Brice

Usually I like Anish Kapoor's work, but the Orbit looks like a bit of a cluttered mess, with the platform and stairs crammed in as an afterthought. Maybe it'll grow on me once I've seen it in the flesh though.


Hmmm...I think these guys have got the right idea: 


The Colon?

Wayne davis

I'm watching the TV program about the Orbital, the artist/designer is a rude repulsive man between him and Boris Johnson they should be made to pay for the wast and removal of this eye saw......god what where they thinking about

Steve Edwards

Looks like a twisted fallen down tower crane