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Steel Shots: Spiraling Steel
Posted by Tasha Weiss on March 16, 2012 at 3:25 PM.


What on earth is this? It’s the “ArcelorMittal Orbit,” a 377-ft-high observation tower at Olympic Park in East London. Set to open for the 2012 Summer Olympics, the steel structure will be the tallest sculpture in the UK and will offer unparalleled views of the park and London’s skyline. Photo: ArcelorMittal


You may have already seen television commercials gearing up for the 2012 Summer Olympics, so we thought now would be a good time to reveal a glimpse of a towering steel structure that is expected to grab an equal amount of attention at Olympic Park in East London.


Sited between Olympic Stadium and the Aquatics Centre, the ArcelorMittal Orbit allows visitors to view the entire Olympic Park from two observation platforms. Designed by Anish Kapoor and engineered by Cecil Balmond, the tower represents a modern “twist” on combining architecture with structural engineering, where visitors can engage with its artistic expression via an incorporated spiral walkway.


Construction was completed late last year and the project is built with nearly 2,000 tons of steel, produced from ArcelorMittal plants around the world. Steel was the only material considered for this project because, according to Balmond, it was the only material that could provide the minimum thickness and maximum strength required for the coiling structure.


The tower is expected to open in May of this year, in time for the start of the Summer Olympic games.


You can find more information about the ArcelorMittal Orbit project, as well as galleries of construction photos and videos, at

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