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: