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.