See The Hideous New Olympic Tower That Has Enraged London

ArcelorMittal OrbitThe ArcelorMittal Orbit at dusk

Photo: ArcelorMittal

In preparation for the Olympics, London has just finished construction of the ArcelorMittal Orbit: a sculpture tower sponsored by the European steel company that soars 376 feet into the air.It should be a moment of triumph. The last two times London created massive sponsored vanity art structures—the Dome exhibition space and the Eye Ferris wheel—Londoners liked them so much they became permanent additions to the skyline.

There’s just one problem: Aside from designer/artist Anish Kapoor, engineer Cecil Balmond, and Arcelor CEO Lakshmi Mittal, everyone thinks it’s the ugliest structure they’ve ever seen.

The Orbit is made of 366 star-shaped steel nodes like this one.

This picture is from the ArcelorMittal Orbit web site.

The nodes were bolted together in circles and stacked by cranes.

Here's the Orbit in an early stage of construction. Currently the Orbit is the tallest sculpture in the United Kingdom.

It's taller than the Statue of Liberty and Big Ben, twice as high as Nelson's column in London's Trafalgar Square, and a third of the size of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The Orbit cost £22.7 million pounds ($36.5 million), of which ArcelorMittal provided £19.6 million.

The public and the media have been cruel, calling it

Nearly done ...

The elevator ride to the rop will cost tourists £15.

Its observation deck will offer 20-mile views on a clear day.


The Orbit dominates London's 2012 Olympic Park.

At dusk ... it has a certain playful charm.

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