Design of Mittal-funded tower at London Olympic Park unveiled

Design of Mittal-funded tower at London Olympic Park unveiled

Artist Anish Kapoor looks at a model of his design of the ArcelorMittal Orbit at a press conference in London on Wednesday, APUnveiling the design of the tower at the City Hall, London's Mayor Boris Johnson today said the structure, taller than New York's Statue of Liberty, will be ready by the end of next year.

Mittal, who was also present on the occasion, will contribute £16 million for the tower, which is expected to cost £19.1 million. The rest of the funding will be provided by the London Development Agency.

Award winning London-based Indian artist Anish Kapoor has been given the contract to design the spectacular new public attraction in the Olympic Park.The stunning artwork, to be entitled 'The ArcelorMittal Orbit," will ensure the Park remains an unrivalled visitor destination following the 2012 Games.

"The Olympic games are one of the few truly iconic global events. I was immediately excited by the prospect of ArcelorMittal becoming involved because ArcelorMittal is a global company with operations in more than 60 countries," Lakshmi Mittal, CEO of ArcelorMittal, said.

The breathtaking sculpture - thought to be the tallest in the UK - will consist of a continuous looping lattice of tubular steel. Standing at a gigantic 115m, it will be 22m taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York and offer unparalleled views of the entire 250 acres of the Olympic Park and London's skyline from a special viewing platform.
Visitors will be able to take a trip up the statuesque structure in a huge lift and will have the option of walking down the spiralling staircase.

Mayor Boris Johnson and the Olympics Minister Tess Jowell agreed the commission in partnership with Mittal after bringing together a panel from the art and design world to advise on a long list of proposals.'

Anish Kapoor's team made an outstanding proposal that would be accessible and leave a "fitting 2012 legacy"."And as someone who lives in this great city, I remember the great excitement felt when it was announced that London had been selected to host the 2012 Olympic and Paraolympic Games. We set out to create a transformational piece of art that will be an iconic symbol for the Olympics and also a new landmark that will endure long after the Games themselves," Mittal said.

"Everyone at ArcelorMittal is delighted with the outcome of the ArcelorMittal Orbit. London will have a bold, beautiful and magnificent sculpture that also showcases the great versatility of steel," he said. 56-year-old Kapoor said it was "thrilling" to be offered the chance to create for the capital something on par with what Gustave Eiffel made in Paris - the Eiffel tower.

"It would be terribly arrogant to compete with Eiffel who spent his entire life making that thing. What we're trying to make is the best thing we can do," Kapoor said.
The artist sees his looping, deep red-coloured tower as "an eccentric structure that looks as if it's going to fall over".

It is being created with the aid of Cecil Balmond, deputy chairman of Arup engineers, with whom Kapoor created the red trumpet, Marsyas, for Tate Modern's Turbine Hall in 2002.
Mayor Johnson said about 700 visitors an hour should be able to access the tower which will have a viewing platform and outdoor walkway.

"Some will say we are nuts - in the depths of a recession - to be building Britain's biggest ever piece of public art. But Tessa Jowell, the Olympics Minister, and I are certain this is the right thing for the Stratford site, in Games time and beyond," the Mayor said.
Mittal, whose company will supply much of the 1,400 tonnes of steel, said he had wanted to give "a lasting gift" to the "wonderful city" where he has lived since 1997.

"Long after the Games are over our aim is to have a stunning spectacle in east London that will be recognised around the world. I'm thrilled that when visitors from every corner of the globe plan trips to our most-see attractions they will now eagerly include the ArcelorMittal Orbit! It will be an internationally acclaimed family  attraction and I would like to thank Mittal for his generous support," Mayor Johnson said.

Anish Kapoor's inspired art work will truly encapsulate the energy and spirit of London during the Games and as such will become the perfect iconic cultural legacy, he said.
The tower will stand in the southern part of the Olympic Park between the Stadium and Aquatics Centre.

Minister for Olympics and London Tessa Jowell said: "This stunning structure will become a new iconic London landmark towering 115 metres into the London skyline.
"Alongside the Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Centre, Anish kapoor's brilliant design will be like honey to bees for the millions of tourists that visit London each year. Having been involved in this project from the outset, I'm now looking forward to seeing it go from a great idea into a brilliant reality," the minister said.

Mumbai-born Anish Kapoor is one of the most influential sculptors of his generation.
56-year-old Kapoor has lived and worked in London since the early 70s. Over the past 20 years, he has exhibited extensively in London and all over the world.

His solo exhibitions have included Kunsthalle Basel, Tate Gallery and Hayward gallery in London, Reina Sofia in Madrid, CAPC in Bordeaux, Haus der Kunst in Munich and most recently MAK in Vienna. He has also participated internationally in many group shows including the whitechapel Art gallery, the Royal Academy and Serpentine Gallery in London, documenta IX in Kassel, Moderna Museet in Stockholm and Jeu de Paume and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

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