The ArcelorMittal Orbit is a 115 metres (377 ft) high observation tower planned for the Olympic Park in Stratford, London. The steel sculpture will be Britain's largest piece of public art and is intended to be a permanent, lasting legacy of London's hosting of the 2012 Summer Olympics, assisting in the post-Olympics regeneration of the Stratford area. Sited between the Olympic Stadium and the Aquatics Centre, it will allow visitors to view the whole Olympic Park from two observation platforms.
Orbit was designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond. Announced on 31 March 2010, the tower is expected to be completed by December 2011 at the latest. The project came about after Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell decided in 2008 that the Olympic Park needed "something extra". Designers were asked for ideas for an "Olympic tower" of at least 100 metres (330 ft), and Orbit was the unanimous choice from various proposals considered by a nine person advisory panel.
The project is expected to cost GBP 19.1 million, with GBP 16 million of that coming from the involvement of Britain's richest man, the steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, chairman of the ArcelorMittal steel company, with the balance of GBP 3.1million coming from the London Development Agency. The official name of the sculpture, 'ArcelorMittal Orbit', combines the name of Mittal's company, as chief sponsor, with Orbit, the original working title of Kapoor and Balmond's design.
Mr Mittal said of his involvement in the project, "I live in London – I’ve lived here since 1997 – and I think it’s a wonderful city. This project is an incredible opportunity to build something really spectacular for London, for the Olympic Games and something that will play a lasting role in the legacy of the Games."
Once completed, Orbit will be owned and operated by the Olympic Park Legacy Company. The ambition is that, as well as being a focal point for the Olympic Park during the Games, it will also form part of the wider Stratford regeneration plans, which aim to turn the Olympic site into a permanent tourist destination after the Games. Tessa Jowell said Orbit will be "like to honey to bees for the millions of tourists that visit London each year". Boris Johnson predicted the tower would become "the perfect iconic cultural legacy." According to Lord Coe, chairman of the London 2012 Olympic organizers, the tower would play a central part in the Game's role of leaving a lasting legacy and transformed landscape in east London.
(Sourced from en.wikipedia.org)