The Arcelor Mittal Orbit is a stunning addition to the capital’s skyline that was designed and built for the 2012 London Olympics and these tickets give you the chance to visit the two viewing platforms of the Orbit tower that look down over the whole Olympic Park. What’s more before or after your vertiginous excursion you can enjoy afternoon tea overlooking the Olympic Stadium!
The competition to design an Olympic tower was won by Turner Prize-winning artist Sir Anish Kapoor in collaboration with Arup engineer Cecil Balmond. The brief was for a sculpture that reached over 100m that wasn’t just for looking at but lets you look out of it too. The result is this wonderful tower with a trunk and a lattice of bright red metal spirals that bring the total height to an impressive 114.5m the tallest public sculpture in the country.
If like us you are wondering where the name ArcelorMittal comes from it’s after Britain’s richest man Lakshmi Mittal who with his steel company ArcelorMittal sponsored the construction of this fine Orbit tower as the cherry on the cake of the Olympic Park development
So now you know all about the background to the Orbit what is it like inside? Well the design caused a certain amount of controversy with some hating it and others loving it. Make your mind up for yourself as these tickets give you access to the main part of the trunk where a lift will whisk you up to the two large viewing platforms. As you look out you’ll realise that not only can you see the whole of the 200-acre Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park you can also spot the listed buildings and the shiny modern skyscrapers of the City beyond.
After drinking in the amazing views (and having a bit of nostalgia for the enormity and success of those Games) it’s time to head back down. Our top tip for Orbit visitors is to not take the lift back down but brave the 455-step staircases. Kapoor was very careful to design the spirals around the views which anyone up for the physical challenge will be awarded with.
Once back on Terra Firma it’s time to head to the nearby Holiday Inn Stratford hotel which is in the heart of Westfield and the Olympic park. If it’s a nice day take your tea and scones out onto the terrace for fabulous views of the stadium and Orbit tower. Make sure you bring your camera along to snap some nice shots of you both at the top of this striking Olympic sculpture one of the few towers in London that you can access for that bird’s eye view of the capital.