diamond geezer

 Sunday, April 25, 2010

Only last month Boris delighted in announcing that an enormous lump of public art would be erected beside the Olympic Stadium. This sculpted tower of coiled steel will be called the ArcelorMittal Orbit (but only to people who write press releases), and has been designed by artist Anish Kapoor. At 115 metres from tip to base it'll be even taller than the Statue of Liberty, with a viewing platform two-thirds of the way up, and will be the landmark attraction of the 2012 Games. As a megastructure with the possibility of transforming the East End skyline forever, it clearly requires planning permission. And that planning permission is being applied for as fast as next month, which leaves a limited window for local people to have their say on whether they like it or not.

As a very-local person, Arup have sent me a glossy letter in the post inviting me to come along to a public exhibition. On one side of the leaflet is a full-colour illustration of Kapoor's snakecharmer tower. Latticed cables erupt from the ground, rising to a defiant skyward hump. The liftshaft contains the only vertical lines, propped up on a curved base like a giant trumpet. Up top are two levels of observation lounge, linked to the ground via seven revolutions of descending ramp. Hundreds of tiny cartoon people mill around the plaza below, most of them conveniently wearing red to counterpoint the painted steel. It looks amazing, to be honest, although it may not look quite so amazing sat at the bottom of my road for the remainder of time.

So I'll be going along to exhibition at the View Tube to find out more, if only because I suspect not many other people will. It's being hosted in a metal container in the middle of a building site. It's open for one Wednesday evening, one Thursday evening and one Bank Holiday Saturday. And it's a sham consultation, obviously, because the Orbit is going to get built whether local folk think it's an eyesore or not.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit: Public Exhibition at the View Tube
• Wednesday 28 April: 4pm - 8:30pm
• Thursday 29 April: 5:30pm - 8:30pm
• Saturday 1 May: 10am - 3pm
There's a dedicated website with further planning information about the Orbit, which is here, although it's a bit light on detail. How tall is thing going to look, for example, from a variety of locations in the immediate and no-so-immediate vicinity? No clues, none at all. Fortunately there's also a feedback page where anyone can add their two'pennorth to the debate, and every comment will be included in London 2012's official planning submission. Unbelievably this is an anonymous process, with unverified identification via nothing stronger than the first part of your postcode. So there's nothing stopping people in Stornoway or even San Francisco from sending in their views, and pretending to be in E15 or E3, and maybe saying how much they love the Orbit even though they haven't got to live with it.

Feedback notwithstanding, construction of the Orbit will begin later this year. It's going up on the site of the old Thornton Fields railway sidings, halfway between the Stadium and the Aquatics Centre, where it'll no doubt become very visible very quickly. Then from 2012, for a fee, anyone'll be able to visit the Olympic Park and snoop down across my end of London from umpteen metres up. Meanwhile I'll be staring back from my flat at this red metal intruder poking defiantly into the sky, wondering whoever allowed Boris to plonk it there. Please, world, feed back carefully.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan20  Feb20  Mar20  Apr20  May20
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19  Sep19  Oct19  Nov19  Dec19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

eXTReMe Tracker
jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

my flickr photostream