ArcelorMittal Orbit Slide
Harley had a lay-in this morning and after breakfast he wrote his self-produced postcard to his mum. Off we went to the underground and I thought some things really ought not to be, unless you run by the name of Lady Penelope.
Yet another first for Harley as he dropped his postcard into a letter box. Off to Holborn where he got on a London bus for the first time.
We bimbled over the bridge looking toward the Olympic Swimming Pool.
We arrived at the Slide and read the posters, Harley didn’t fancy it but posed for a hair-raising picture.
Designed by sculptor Sir Anish Kapoor and engineer Cecil Balmond, the ArcelorMittal Orbit is one of the most striking and enduring visual legacies of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Its extraordinary looping structure has become a byword for design innovation and playful invention.
Made of 35,000 bolts and enough steel to make 265 double-decker buses, the ArcelorMittal Orbit offers extraordinary 20-mile views over Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and the London skyline. Steel was partly chosen as a building material for its infinite recyclability – 60% of the ArcelorMittal Orbit is made from recycled steel, including washing machines and used cars.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit stands tall as the UK’s tallest sculpture, part of the Olympic legacy that transformed East London, and a landmark in its own right, transfixing and delighting visitors with its offer of a unique view of the city.
The ambitious plan to build the ArcelorMittal Orbit came from a chance conversation between former London Mayor, Boris Johnson, and Lakshmi Mittal of the world’s largest steel company ArcelorMittal. The Mayor mentioned the idea of creating a landmark to commemorate the London 2012 Games and Lakshmi Mittal immediately came on board with the project – committing ArcelorMittal to provide the steel to build the structure.
ArcelorMittal make steel in more than 20 countries with a presence in over 60. They see steel as being the “fabric of life”, as much of what of we take for granted depends on steel, including the vehicles we travel in, the machines that wash the clothes we wear, the buildings we live and work in, and even the cutlery we use when we eat.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit is made from 600 pre-fabricated star-like nodes. These were precision-built by a team of 100 staff in Bolton, Lancashire and assembled on site by four men and a crane. This created the superstructure of the sculpture before the lifts and interior viewing platforms were added.
There are four uses for steel in the ArcelorMittal Orbit; the red super-structure, the spiral stairs, the Corten steel of the canopy and the highly polished steel mirrors in the upper viewing platform, designed by Sir Anish Kapoor. 35,000 bolts were used in the construction and it would take 954 steel drinks cans stacked on top of each other to reach the top of the sculpture.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit delighted 130,000 visitors during the Games and reopened on 5 April 2014, when the south of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park reopened as a beautiful new open space for London, with meadows, wetlands and waterways.
View from the top. Bear was soon togged up, Go-Pro’d and ready for the off. I stayed with Harley and set myself a challenge.
Could I get a picture of Bear like the promotional shot. I had to wait until his final checks and for him to queue but – not bad considering the speed he shot under my viewing window.
Harley and I messed about with the wall mirror whilst we waited for Bear.
Soon, Bear was with us and joined in the fun.
An inverted Harley.
Bear, how was your ride ??? It felt extremely fast, very dark most of the time and I rotated one or two three-sixties. Did you enjoy it ??? Yes, but it was much more violent than I anticipated. Would you do it again ??? See my all in all.....
I tried to placate my at-venturer with Ooo look a train. I did get a cheery smile.....
We took in the view for a minute or two and headed for the stairs.
In summer 2016, West Ham United moved from their home at the Boleyn Ground to set up at the former Olympic Stadium. The Hammer’s new home is a 54,000 all-seater UEFA category 4 football stadium – the highest category of football stadium, possible in the world. The Stadium ensures the spirit of the London 2012 Games lives on as the venue becomes the new national competition centre for athletics. UK Athletics hold its annual London Diamond League meetings at the Stadium, and in 2017, the venue will host the IAAF World Athletics Championships and the IPC Athletics World Championships – the first time these prestigious global events have been staged in the same venue in the same year.
431 steps to go to the bottom, pick up Bear’s Go-Pro recording and back on the bus.
ALL IN ALL QUITE A STRUCTURE
GLAD TO HAVE DONE IT - WON’T DO IT AGAIN