A spiraling red steel tower looming 114 meters over the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the ArcelorMittal Orbit’s bold design has polarized opinions since its conception. There’s no denying, however, that it’s an impressive feat of structural engineering and well on its way to becoming one of London’s most iconic landmarks. Erected in honor of the 2012 Olympic Games, the unique creation was a collaborative effort between artist Anish Kapoor, designer Cecil Balmond and steel-and-mining company ArcelorMittal, built using about 2,000 tons of steel, more than half of which was recycled.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit has two observation platforms open to the public, located at 76 meters and 80 meters up, as well as a top-floor cafe and digital telescopes that offer a striking bird's-eye view over the surrounding Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. For many visitors, the highlight is the climb down the 455-step helter-skelter-style walkway – a thrilling way to descend from the top of the U.K.’s highest work of art.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit is located between the Olympic Stadium and the Aquatics Center in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, East London. It can be reached by tube from central London (about a 10-minute walk from Stratford Station, on the Central and Jubilee lines). The orbit is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in April through September and until 4 p.m. October through March. Admission to the walkway and observation decks is £15 for adults and £7 children, with two passenger lifts making it fully accessible for all.