LONDON: A 22.7 million pound ($36.6 million) red tower designed by sculptor Anish Kapoor and sponsored by ArcelorMittal (MT), the world’s biggest steelmaker, was inaugurated today in the 2012 London Olympics park.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit is taller than Big Ben and the Statue of Liberty and twice as high as Nelson’s column in London’s Trafalgar Square. Like an oil rig twisting around itself, it is a spiraling 114.5-meter (377 foot) lattice of tubular steel.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson persuaded ArcelorMittal to contribute as much as 19.6 million pounds toward the cost of the tower, which before the 2012 London Olympic Games, which run from July 27 to Aug. 12. The Orbit will have a two-level space at the top with a restaurant and a viewing gallery, to which high-speed elevators will take as many as 700 visitors an hour.
“This 114.5-meter attraction to trump rivals the world over is a calling card for investment in east London,” Mayor Johnson said, describing the Orbit as “a symbol of prosperity and growth.”