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16 May 2012

The ArcelorMittal Orbit v The Statue of Liberty

Following up on my blog 2 years ago, aptly timed on the 1st April 2010, the new Folly for the Olympic Park has finally opened at a cost of £19.1 million.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit is now Britain's largest piece of public art, who's height has been described in comparison to the Statue of Liberty.
The finished steel sculpture is a 115 metres (377 ft) high with the Statue of Liberty being 93 metres (305 ft) high, when counting the 46 metres (151 ft) statue together with its pedestal.

Whether the tower was originally an April Fool's joke from Boris Johnson, or an inspired deal agreed with steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal (who put up £16 million of required funds) is yours to decide.

However the Olympic Park, as I previously mentioned, would be lost without this thought provoking centrepiece, something the Olympic Stadium can never be described as.

Boris realised the Park needed something extra and along with Anish Kapoor, Cecil Balmond, and Arup Engineers, he has delivered the most memorable structure for the games and the on looking world TV audience.

The Orbit is a statement, but I did prefer the elegant approach of Santiago Calatrava's telecommunication tower, built for the 1992 Barcelona games.
This tower stands at 136 m (446 ft) tower is located in their Olympic park, and represents an athlete holding the Olympic Flame.

Perhaps the Orbit is a symbol of our country in 2012, chaotic, unstable and spiralling out of control. Let’s hope the games are as well organised as the engineers, who had to help deliver it on time.

Architecture, Sculpture and Design

Images courtesy of Google images.


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