I did it. I went up the Orbit. And it was every bit as amazing as any Orbit could hope to be. Standing proudly at 346ft (a bit taller than me in heels…), it provided the anticipation of approaching a theme park without the drag of queuing 3 hours for a 30-second thrill. Its creators, Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond, were having none of that, instead opting to capture a tangible experience even from before the get-go:
“The journey begins in ominous darkness, beneath an 80-tonne domed steel canopy. Then, via the external lifts, you come up towards the light. At the top there is a room with two huge concave mirrors, bringing the sky in as if you are in the lens room of a telescope.” – Anish Kapoor
It wasn’t until reaching the celestial light at the top that I appreciated what an architectural dreamscape London is. Getting to take in the delights from Stratford’s Olympic hub (which is still very much alive even post-2012) more than made up for being too much of a wuss to ride the Orbit’s iconic feature: the world’s longest, tallest tunnel slide that just happens to be attached on the side. Luckily, unlike my career as a daredevil, the Orbit is here to stay, all year round, so there’s plenty of time to give it ago. Until then, it remains firmly on my bucket list.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit is at 3 Thornton Street, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20 2AD. Opening times are 10am – 6 pm daily (last entry 5.30pm) until 30 September, after which they’ll be 11am – 5pm (last entry 4.30pm).
Featured Image Credit: ArcelorMittal Orbit