Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond’s ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower to Become a Slide [UPDATED]

The Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmod–designed ArcelorMittal Orbit tower. ARCELORMITTAL ORBIT

The Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmod–designed ArcelorMittal Orbit tower.


The number of works of art that double as amusement-park slides is fairly low, and surely many of those works are by Carsten Höller, whose corkscrewing Isometric Slides are currently on view at the Hayward Gallery, in London. Today, The Telegraph reported that, in 2016, London is going to get more slide art—Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond’s ArcelorMittal Orbit tower will now become the site of a helter-skelter.

In 2012, Kapoor and Balmond worked together to create the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower, a 377-foot-tall structure that looms over London, for that year’s summer Olympics. Upon the tower’s unveiling, the sculpture was deemed the “Eyeful Tower” and was graffitied by Londoners. One critic, referring to the sculpture’s Russian Constructivist influences, called it “Tatlin shagging Eiffel.” (Kapoor explained to ARTnews in 2012 that nobody liked the Eiffel Tower when it was originally built either.)

Visitors can currently go to the top of the tower, London’s largest sculpture, for £12, or about $19. Starting next year, visitors can also take a ride down the tower’s slide, set to be the tallest in the world, for another £5, or about $8. (Right now, you can also rappel down the sculpture for £85, or about $132.50.) In the 40-second trip, riders will circle around the tower five times and hit speeds of up to 15 miles per hour.

“What more exciting way to descend the ArcelorMittal Orbit than on the world’s longest and tallest tunnel slide,” Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park director Peter Tudor told The Telegraph. “This slide really will give a different perspective of Britain’s tallest sculpture.”

UPDATE 07/31/15 1:30 p.m.: It was revealed today that the slide would, in fact, be done by Carsten Höller, per Kapoor’s invitation. “I am thrilled that my tallest slide so far will cling onto Anish Kapoor’s The Orbit, taking an existing artwork as its site,” Höller said in a statement. “A slide is a sculptural work with a pragmatic aspect; a device for experiencing an emotional state that is a unique condition somewhere between delight and madness.”

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