How Celestial is the ArcelorMittal Orbit?

image via: londonist

A few weeks ago the ArcelorMittal Orbit was unveiled to the press and it will soon open for the public. The Orbit is a spiraling 114.5 meter lattice of red tubular steel designed by Anish Kapoor and engineered by Cecil Balmond.  The public sculpture is located between the Olympic Stadium and the Aquatics Centre and it has cost 22.7 million pounds, 19.6 million of which were funded by ArcelorMittal, a company which belongs to the Indian tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, who is the world’s 6th richest man and the chairman of the ArcelorMittal steel company.

The construction of the Orbit took 18 months and like most monumental public pieces of art, the Orbit so far has been scrutinized and admittedly at first glance it is not particularly charming. In an attempt to gravitate towards the Orbit, I shall venture to examine the ArcelorMittal Orbit under the six Keplerian elements that describe a celestial orbit:

Inclination (i)

Unsurprisingly the Orbit’s inclination is not towards an abstract ecliptic but towards being London’s Eiffel Tower. Although it is just a third of the size of the Parisian symbol, the comparison between the two is inevitable. Steel was used for both the Orbit and the Eiffel tower to formulate a lattice structure that would provide a platform to gaze at the city.

The fundamental difference between them is that the Orbit intentionally inclines towards becoming an icon of London’s urban landscape. It is worth to note that the Eiffel Tower was a temporary structure, which people initially hated but grew to love it so much that it stayed there ever since and became the most iconic element of Paris. I cannot help but wonder when has anything iconic acquired its status while having such an unashamedly admitted intention?

Longitude of the ascending node (Ω)

The longitude was not really taken into consideration as with the Orbit it is all about the latitude i.e. the height. Boris Johnson, London’s Mayor who commissioned the project, specified that it had to be at least 100 meters tall so no one seems to care about the 560 meters of tubular red steel that were required to form the lattice superstructure of this ascending node.

The Orbit might be the UK’s tallest sculpture but this discussion with regards to its height makes the Orbit sound passé. Even though playing with scale typifies a lot of Kapoor’s work and certainly scale can have a truly significant meaning in art, the construction world is so accustomed to superstructures that when it comes to buildings, size really does not matter anymore.

Argument of periapsis (ω)

The point at which an orbiting object is closest to the body it is orbiting is called the argument of periapsis. In this case the entrance of the Orbit is the point that is closest to the body it is orbiting, which metaphorically is the city of London. The entrance space of the Orbit is a canopy shaped like a cone that visitors have to stand underneath before going up the tower. This conical entrance indicates that one of the Orbit’s strongest “arguments” is the experience it provides to its visitors. Anish Kapoor explains that the experience is meant as “a moment of darkness, of weight, perhaps even a little scary”. Therefore, the Orbit is not just about the view from the two observation platforms, the journey to these platforms is meant to be part of the Orbit experience. As the artist himself explained the Orbit is all about “going in, going up, being part of it”.

Eccentricity (e)

When almost nothing truly shocks anymore and everything seems to have already been done, it is quite difficult to be eccentric and one would need quite a mastery to achieve a truly eccentric piece of art. The Orbit is great piece of engineering whose controversial design should not be mistaken for eccentricity.

Semimajor axis (a)

Frequently the Orbit has been described as a “vanity project” as there have been claims that building an observation tower in a recession was unnecessary, especially since the London Eye offers a similar experience. However, the Orbit’s “semimajor axis” is to contribute to the regeneration of East London, as landmark structures are very frequently associated with culture-led regeneration. Red is a colour that Anish Kapoor uses a lot and quite appropriately it is the colour that defines London the most. Therefore, installing this huge red public sculpture in East London metaphorically signifies the fact that East London is ready to be fully integrated with the rest of the city.

Mean anomaly at epoch (M0)

The “anomaly” of the Orbit is that apart from being a great public sculpture, a pioneering piece of engineering, an observation tower and a tool for urban regeneration, it is also an advertisement of its sponsor. Essentially the Orbit is a billboard disguised as a gigantic red steel lattice. It is a great marketing strategy as no other company’s banner or billboard will have a more prominent or visible position during or even after the London’s Olympics.

Back in the 90s the size of the water feature outside a company’s granite clad headquarters would define its status. Nowadays it seems like the uber status symbol for a company of ArcelorMittal’s caliber is to install an 114,5 m height public sculpture in London’s townscape…


133 responses

  1. Thank you very much for following my blog and for your “Likes” ! I really appreciate your blog : I think your posts are really impressive. Keep on the good work !!! Best wishes from Marseilles, France.

  2. A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I think that you need to publish more on this issue, it might not be a taboo subject but typically people don’t talk about such issues. To the next! All the best!!

  3. Pingback: led grow lights canada

  4. Very nice info and right to the point. I am not sure if this is actually the best place to ask but do you folks have any ideea where to get some professional writers? Thx 🙂

  5. I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is needed to get setup? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100% sure. Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

  6. Greetings! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!

  7. Hey there I am so delighted I found your web site, I really found you by error, while I was searching on Digg for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say thank you for a marvelous post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to read through it all at the moment but I have saved it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the excellent work.

  8. Hey there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Thanks

  9. Do you mind if I quote a couple of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your blog? My website is in the very same area of interest as yours and my users would truly benefit from some of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Thanks!

  10. I just want to tell you that I’m new to blogging and site-building and absolutely loved your blog site. Probably I’m planning to bookmark your blog post . You definitely come with great stories. Thanks for revealing your webpage.

  11. Oh my goodness! a tremendous article dude. Thank you Nonetheless I’m experiencing difficulty with ur rss . Don know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting equivalent rss problem? Anybody who is aware of kindly respond. Thnkx

  12. I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. appreciate it

  13. My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find the majority of your post’s to be what precisely I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content for yourself? I wouldn’t mind producing a post or elaborating on some of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome website!

  14. Thanks a ton for this – love the info and agree with your perspective. However many others will not, so thanks for speaking up. Nice blog, well done!

  15. I precisely desired to thank you so much once again. I am not sure the things I might have handled without the type of information documented by you over this field. It became a alarming scenario in my view, however , seeing a new expert mode you dealt with that took me to leap over happiness. I’m just happy for the support and have high hopes you comprehend what a powerful job you have been providing educating men and women all through your website. I’m certain you have never encountered all of us.

  16. I just want to tell you that I am newbie to weblog and absolutely savored this web-site. More than likely I’m going to bookmark your blog . You really have beneficial article content. Bless you for revealing your blog site.

  17. Pingback: search engine

  18. This is the reverse How Celestial is the ArcelorMittal Orbit? | The Architectonista blog for anyone who wants to assay out out around this content. You note so untold its near debilitating to contend with you (not that I rattling would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new prolong on a theme thats been typed nigh for period. Squeamish sundries, just major!

  19. Magnificent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just too fantastic. I really like what you’ve acquired here, really like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it sensible. I can not wait to read much more from you. This is really a wonderful site.

  20. Pingback: bad breath

  21. Pingback: limo bus rental

  22. Pingback: renting a limo

  23. Pingback: Limousine Tips

  24. I recently came across your site submit and have been recently reading alongside. You’ll find a number of weird remarks, however typically I’ve got to believe the style the some other rewiewers are generally composing. Viewing a lot of greatgreat reviews associated with this website, I figured that I should also connect and tell you just how I really enjoyed reading this your content. I really feel this could help make our initial comment: “I can see that you have built a few truly fascinating points. Manufactured individuals might actually look at this the method that you only do. I am just actually pleased that there’s so much relating to this topic that has been found and you did it so effectively, with a lot school!inch

  25. Pingback: limo bus rental

  26. Does your site have a contact page? I’m having trouble locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it grow over time.

  27. Pingback: website

  28. Pingback: Wedding limo

  29. I simply want to say I’m very new to blogs and really liked you’re web blog. Probably I’m planning to bookmark your blog . You certainly come with good stories. Thank you for revealing your blog.

  30. Pingback: website

  31. Pingback: Prom Limo

  32. Pingback: limo rental tips

  33. Pingback: limo rental tips

  34. Pingback: car service

  35. Pingback: bad breath

  36. This is the right How Celestial is the ArcelorMittal Orbit? | The Architectonista journal for anyone who wants to assay out out some this subject. You asking so often its most exhausting to present with you (not that I real would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new rotate on a substance thats been handwritten nearly for eld. Good clog, but majuscule!

  37. Pingback: mosquito control cary

  38. This is the penalize How Celestial is the ArcelorMittal Orbit? | The Architectonista blog for anyone who wants to essay out out nigh this issue. You note so such its nearly wearing to converse with you (not that I really would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new extend on a topic thats been engrossed nigh for life. Pleasant sundry, only large!

  39. Pingback: nyc limos

  40. I’ve been exploring for a little bit for any high-quality articles or weblog posts in this sort of space . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this site. Reading this information So i’m happy to show that I’ve an incredibly good uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I such a lot indisputably will make sure to do not omit this website and provides it a glance on a continuing basis.

  41. Pingback: Electricians on call

  42. Pingback: limo party bus

  43. This is the penalize How Celestial is the ArcelorMittal Orbit? | The Architectonista journal for anyone who wants to attempt out out around this issue. You notice so such its nearly effortful to argue with you (not that I really would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new reel on a content thats been inscribed about for eld. Overnice choke, only outstanding!

  44. Along with every little thing which seems to be developing inside this particular area, a significant percentage of points of view are quite stimulating. Having said that, I beg your pardon, but I can not give credence to your entire theory, all be it refreshing none the less. It appears to us that your comments are generally not completely validated and in actuality you are yourself not fully confident of the assertion. In any event I did take pleasure in examining it.

  45. Pingback: limo guide

  46. Pingback: limo party bus

  47. Pingback: fsgb80v7cbwe

  48. This is the correct How Celestial is the ArcelorMittal Orbit? | The Architectonista blog for anyone who wants to essay out out some this subject. You observe so often its virtually wearying to argue with you (not that I really would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new acrobatics on a subject thats been holographic nigh for age. Discriminating squeeze, simply eager!

  49. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer to create your theme? Superb work!

  50. Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Cheers

  51. Hey there! I understand this is kind of off-topic but I needed to ask. Does running a well-established blog like yours take a large amount of work? I’m brand new to writing a blog however I do write in my diary everyday. I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my personal experience and views online. Please let me know if you have any ideas or tips for brand new aspiring blog owners. Thankyou!

  52. I just want to tell you that I’m beginner to blogs and definitely liked your page. Likely I’m likely to bookmark your site . You definitely come with fantastic posts. Many thanks for sharing with us your webpage.

  53. An interesting dialogue is worth comment. I believe that it is best to write extra on this topic, it won’t be a taboo subject but typically people are not sufficient to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  54. This is the penalise How Celestial is the ArcelorMittal Orbit? | The Architectonista diary for anyone who wants to assay out out active this message. You observance so untold its most effortful to fence with you (not that I real would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new reel on a theme thats been longhand nigh for years. Squeamish nonsense, simply uppercase!

  55. Wow! This can be one particular of the most helpful blogs We’ve ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Great. I am also a specialist in this topic so I can understand your effort.

  56. Hello my loved one! I wish to say that this post is awesome, great written and come with almost all significant infos. I would like to see more posts like this .

  57. It’s truly a great and useful piece of information. I am happy that you simply shared this useful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  58. Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this website. It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s hard to get that “perfect balance” between usability and appearance. I must say you’ve done a very good job with this. In addition, the blog loads very quick for me on Firefox. Exceptional Blog!

  59. This is the proper How Celestial is the ArcelorMittal Orbit? | The Architectonista diary for anyone who wants to essay out out nearly this topic. You observance so overmuch its almost tiring to converse with you (not that I really would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new whirl on a topic thats been inscribed around for years. Fastidious stuff, just outstanding!

  60. Can I simply just say what a comfort to discover an individual who genuinely knows what they are talking about on the internet. You certainly realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More and more people should check this out and understand this side of your story. It’s surprising you’re not more popular given that you most certainly have the gift.

  61. excellent points altogether, you simply gained a
    new reader. What could you recommend about your publish that you
    simply made some days ago? Any sure?

  62. whoah this blog is fantastic i really like studying your articles.
    Keep up the good work! You understand, a lot of individuals are hunting around for this info, you
    could help them greatly.

  63. Admiring the persistence you put into your site and in depth information you offer.
    It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out of date rehashed material.
    Great read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google

  64. Howdy! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new apple iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the excellent work!

  65. I simply want to say I’m new to blogging and honestly savored this blog site. Probably I’m planning to bookmark your blog . You surely have great writings. With thanks for revealing your web-site.

  66. I seriously love your site.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you make this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m wanting to create my own blog and would like to learn where you got this from or what the theme is named. Appreciate it!

  67. Your style is so unique in comparison to other folks I
    have read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity,
    Guess I’ll just book mark this blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: