The Orbit Tower is acclaimed as Britain’s largest sculpture, since it isn’t by any means the tallest structure in London or anywhere else. No, that would now be the Shard at London Bridge, which at 1016 feet or 310 metres is the tallest building in the EU. The next tallest in London is then ‘Canary Wharf’ or One Canada Square followed by a whole series of sky scrapers and a few other structures such as the London Eye.
The Orbit Tower is a sculpture with a working lift, viewing platforms and spiral staircase, so that’s not usual for pure art. It has a function as a visitor experience and possibly refreshment centre as well, which makes it a kind of hybrid structure; part sculpture, part tower.
The author of the tower is Anysh Kapoor an internationally renewed sculptor who works with very large installations. Project for the London Olympics 2012, Collaboration with Cecil Balmond.
the construction started in November 2010 and ita was completed in May 2012.
“I wanted the sensation of instability, something that was continually in movement. Traditionally a tower is pyramidal in structure, but we have done quite the opposite, we have a flowing, coiling form that changes as you walk around it. … It is an object that cannot be perceived as having a singular image, from any one perspective. You need to journey round the object, and through it. Like a Tower of Babel, it requires real participation from the public” — Anish Kapoor