Orbit tower unveiled in London's Olympic park
London, May 12 (IANS) Arcelor Mittal Orbit, the tallest sculpture in United Kingdom was unveiled in the Olympic park of London ahead of the Olympic Games Friday.
The 114.5-metre-tall steel tower which is 22 metres taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York is hoped to become a new icon of the city. The structure being built with red orbits winding and twisting like the tracks of a roller coaster is expected to draw many visitors, reported Xinhua.
Cecil Balmond, the designer of the tower, called the orbit a contemporary idea.
"When you are travelling to the top of the tower, you see the line travelling with you," he said poetically. "The space is compiled around you, and you are dissecting space."
The Orbit, which cost 22.7 million pounds, took 18 months to finish. About 60 percent of the 2,000 tonnes of steel used in the structure was from recycled scrap collected around the world, particularly Luxembourg in west Europe.
Balmond, who also designed the quirky headquarters building of China Central Television in Beijing, which is dubbed as the big boxer shorts due to its shape said that he was interested in designing eccentric buildings.
Towers are mostly symmetrical, but the designers described the Orbit as unsettling and refusal of a singular image. Talking about the colour, Balmod said the park was mostly green and white, hence it was important to have other colours, like red.
Orbit has been satirized as the Eiffel Tower after a nuclear attack, or a catastrophic collision between two cranes by many who have been against the idea.
"Victor Hugo once described the Eiffel Tower as hideously ugly," said Anish Kapoor, the other designer of the structure. He also noted that as time passes the unusual becomes usual and the concept of beauty changes.
Boris Johnson, the newly-elected mayor of London, likes the idea of having such a tower. "London needed something in the Olympic park like the Eiffel Tower," he said.
According to Andrew Altman, chief executive of the London Legacy Development Corporation, the park, called the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will be transformed into a visitor destination in the spring of 2014.
Unlike the other part of London, it will feature modernity as a combination of waterways, park lands, new neighbourhoods, and sports and entertainment venues.
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