LONDON.- The Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Lakshmi Mittal, Chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, today unveiled the artist and design chosen to create a spectacular new visitor attraction in the Olympic Park.
Award winning London-based artist Anish Kapoor has been given the commission of a lifetime to design the spectacular new public attraction in the Olympic Park. The stunning artwork, to be entitled The ArcelorMittal Orbit, will ensure the Park remains an unrivalled visitor destination following the 2012 Games, providing the key Olympic legacy Mayor of London Boris Johnson envisaged for the East End.
The breathtaking sculpture thought to be the tallest in the UK - will consist of a continuous looping lattice of tubular steel. Standing at a gigantic 115m, it will be 22m taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York and offer unparalleled views of the entire 250 acres of the Olympic Park and Londons skyline from a special viewing platform. Visitors will be able to take a trip up the statuesque structure in a huge lift and will have the option of walking down the spiralling staircase.
One of the world's most distinguished contemporary artists, Turner Prize winning Anish Kapoor studied in London, where he is now based. He is well known for his use of rich pigment and imposing, yet popular works, such as the vast, fleshy and trumpet-like Marsyas, which filled the Tate's Turbine Hall as part of the Unilever Series, the giant reflecting, pod like sculpture Cloud Gate in Chicago's Millennium Park and his recent record breaking show at the Royal Academy, the most successful exhibition ever presented by a contemporary artist in London.
Anish Kapoors proposal has been developed in collaboration with one of the worlds leading structural designers, Cecil Balmond of Arup. Balmond, who trained and lives in London, is known for his innovative work on some of the greatest contemporary buildings in the world, such as the CCTV building in Beijing, as well as numerous Serpentine Gallery pavilion commissions. The two began working together on the Marsyas project in 2002 and have become renowned for their ambitious, large-scale public art projects.
ArcelorMittal will fund up to £16million of the £19.1million project with the outstanding £3.1 million provided by the London Development Agency. The unveiling also marks ArcelorMittals announcement to become a tier two sponsor of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, to support the infrastructure and success of 2012.)
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson and the Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell agreed the commission in partnership with Mr Mittal after bringing together a panel from the art and design world to advise on a long list of proposals. Anish Kapoors team made an outstanding proposal that would be accessible and leave a fitting 2012 legacy.
Anish Kapoor said: 'I am deeply honoured to be invited to undertake this challenging commission. I am particularly attracted to it because of the opportunity to involve members of the public in a particularly close and personal way. It is the commission of a lifetime.'
The attraction will stand in the southern part of the Olympic Park between the Stadium and Aquatics Centre and will open in time for the 2012 Games. After completion, the Olympic Park Legacy Company will take ownership and run the visitor attraction.