With visitor numbers to the Orbit sculpture on the slide, it probably seemed like the obvious thing to do was just turn the thing into one. Last night planning officials at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park gave the go ahead for the helter-skelter scheme, which will be built in time for spring 2016.
There will be 12 loops starting from a height of 74m taking visitors back to earth in 40 seconds at a speed of 15mph. It has to be said we screamed our heads off doing the four wimpy loops attached to the Hayward Gallery for Carsten Holler’s current exhibition, so in all honesty, we’re bricking it just thinking about this one. Look at the architect’s blueprints -– technically speaking, they're fricking frightening.
We are, however, looking forward to Boris Johnson trying it out and no doubt getting himself wedged halfway so that local school children have to pile up behind him to force him out. A bit like when Homer got stuck in the water slide:
It also got us thinking about other buildings in London we’d like to see turned into playground rides. So please, can we now have a death slide from the top of the Shard to the Walkie Talkie? Or monkey bars under Tower Bridge? How about a fireman's pole through the middle of St Paul's?
The cost of infantilising converting Anish Kapoor’s tower is said to be £1m, with logistics for fitting the tubes still to be worked out. The cost per ticket is estimated to be £5 at this stage.