Dezeen Magazine

ArcelorMittal Orbit by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond

ArcelorMittal Orbit: "friendly giant" or "vanity project"?

Dezeen Wire:
the completed ArcelorMittal Orbit tower has opened its doors to critics, who unlike Dezeen readers have welcomed the gigantic steel structure by artist Anish Kapoor and structural engineer Cecil Balmond.

Reporting for the Guardian, art critic Jonathan Jones suggests that the sculpture's opponents are "missing a lot of fun". Despite comparing the tower's form to a bulbous living creature that might "vacuum up the Olympic crowd, or fart on everyone" the writer declares the project to be "extremely coherent in its meaning".

Mark Hudson of the Telegraph says that the Orbit doesn't fail to overwhelm and entertain, and calls the project "a challenging twist on the idea of the tower as viewing point and visitor attraction".

However, in an article for art magazine Frieze journalist Douglas Murphy suggests that unlike monuments such as the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty, the Orbit has a "jolly abstraction" that is "a telling reflection of its blankly cynical patronage".

While the design appears to have divided opinion, the £15 price tag of each ticket has been unanimously criticised. In an interview with the BBC even Anish Kapoor agrees that the cost is "a hell of a lot of money".

When we first revealed the design back in 2010 readers were outraged by it. Read the original story and comments here and see images of the completed tower here.

Read more stories about the London 2012 Olympics in our dedicated category.