Since Autumn 2010, I've watched the construction of that rather strange spirally red structure we now know as the Orbit. It looked most odd at the beginning and is still rather strange. The search for a permanent artwork on the Olympic Park was instigated by the Mayor of London’s Office, which invited more than 30 international artists to submit ideas for a sculpture of up to 180 metres tall. Following a lengthy selection process, the Orbit – designed by artist Anish Kapoor – was chosen. As well as promising a unique moment and experience for visitors, the structure represents both London and the UK, and reflects the five Olympic rings. Construction began in November 2010 and was completed in April this year. It ended up at 115 metres.
The Orbit experienceThe Orbit is more than a work of art – it’s an entire experience. After going through the small, intimate entrance to the Orbit, visitors make their way into an elevator with viewing portholes, which takes just 30 seconds to pass through the Orbit’s twisting form and reach the viewing platform 85 metres high. Once it’s reached the platform, visitors can step outside the lift and experience the Olympic Park in a whole new light – as well as enjoying stunning views of London’s cityscape. It’s also possible to look straight down the centre of the Orbit to the ground below – though this isn’t recommended for the fainthearted! To conclude the experience, visitors are encouraged to stroll down the spiral staircase that twists through the Orbit, enjoying even more amazing sights.
Visiting the Orbit
|The Orbit by night|