diamond geezer

 Sunday, February 27, 2011

This time last year the ArcelorMittal Orbit was nothing but a glint in a planner's eye. Boris hadn't even announced the chosen design, let alone asked Londoners what they thought of a 115m observation tower made from a twisted coil of red steel. And now here it is, shooting up from ground level alongside the Olympic Stadium. Blimey, that's fast.

ArcelorMittal Orbit

To give you some idea of the speed of construction, Ollie snapped a similar photo a fortnight ago, and the tower's already twice as high as it was then. It's already visible above the rooftops from ground level when standing beside the Bow Flyover, and will be an unmissable object on the local skyline before very long. The official deadline for completion is the end of the year, although expect full height to be reached well before that.

The Orbit's latticework is being built from scrap metal forged in Luxembourg. Each beam is processed in Spain and France before being welded together into jigsaw pieces in Bolton and finally transported to London for assembly. Carbon neutral this process most definitely is not. [BBC London video]

Once an operating company has been appointed, and a ticket price set, the public should be allowed inside before the 2012 Opening Ceremony takes place. It's then hoped that the Orbit will draw in a million visitors a year, assuming tourists want to look down over West Ham's new stadium and the surrounding post-Olympic regeneration sites. But will we love it or hate it? At only nine hoops high, it's still too early to tell.

Photo: the Orbit stump beside the Olympic Stadium
Photo: the Orbit stump beside the Aquatic Centre

Further updates from Olympicland
Although not much has changed lately on the stadium's exterior, work now appears to have begun clearing up the land immediately outside. At ground level the plaza area is being scraped free of piled-up dirt, while a row of greenery and trees has been planted alongside the western bank of the City Mill River. Across on the eastern bank some heftier re-contouring is underway, creating waterside slopes in preparation for a larger area of landscaped planting. From building site to international panorama - the pre-Olympic wash and brush-up is underway.
We have further proof that the "Big Build" phase is pretty much complete. You know that London Concrete works that used to be next to the Greenway? The one they kept because building an Olympic Park takes a lot of concrete? Completely demolished, almost without trace. Next in this space - the warm-up track for limbering-up athletes.
• The timetable for Olympic test events has been revealed. The first one's mountain biking in July, while the first in the Park itself is Basketball in mid-August. Even if you don't get a ticket for the real thing, keep an eye on this list for a possible seat in the stadium, by the pool or wherever.
It's a pity the ViewTube doesn't seem to have a regular groundsman. Last summer two strips of flowerbed were fenced off outside, and lots of pretty shrubs and wild flowers planted. Alas the flowers are long dead, the wooden fencing's disappeared, and both are now patches of walked-on mud. One bed has a plaintive message saying "spring bulbs planted, please keep off" but it doesn't appear to be working. There's yet more mud on the corner of the Greenway where everyone keeps taking a shortcut, and another up the steep slope round the back of the kitchen. I hope the ViewTube's surrounds look better by the summer, but they're a right ugly mess at the moment.
Fancy a job at the Olympics in 2012? There'll be a hundred thousand up for grabs, so they estimate, and you can now express an interest at www.jobsforthegames.co.uk. Especially useful if you know you're likely to be unemployed in a year's time, I'd imagine.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18
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