AJ exclusive: Kapoor unveils towering Olympic monument for London
Anish Kapoor and engineer Cecil Balmond have unveiled a 115m-tall monumental structure, which is set to dominate the 2012 Olympic skyline
The £19.1 million permanent viewing platform (pictured) will be the centrepiece of the 2012 games and the planned ‘legacy’ regeneration of east London.
Indian Steel-tycoon Lakshmi Mittal is backing the project, which Mayor of London Boris Johnson has described as ‘Britain’s biggest ever piece of public art.’
Mittal’s company ArcelorMittal will cough up £16 million of the £19.1million needed to build the competition-winning scheme with the outstanding £3.1 million provided by the London Development Agency.
Work on the spiralling rust-coloured structure – known as the ArcelorMittal Orbit – is schedule to finish in time for the opening Olympics.
Minister for the Olympics and London Tessa Jowell said: ‘This stunning structure will become a new iconic London landmark towering 115m into the London skyline.
‘Alongside the Olympic Stadium and Aquatics Centre, Anish Kapoor’s brilliant design will be like to honey to bees for the millions of tourists that visit London each year. Having been involved in this project from the outset, I’m now looking forward to seeing it go from a great idea into a brilliant reality.’
Turner prize-winning Kapoor with Arup saw off bids from Anthony Gormley and Caruso St John to bag the prestigious prize.