The ArcelorMittal Orbit, the record-breaking sculpture designed for the Olympics, is officially unveiled in London. But its designer Anish Kapoor tells Channel 4 News the entry cost is "too high".
Please wait while this video loads. If it doesn't load after a few seconds you may need to have Adobe Flash installed.
At 115m tall, ArcelorMittal Orbit can be seen from 10 miles away and offers extensive views of the Olympic Park and London's skyline.
The tower was a collaboration between Mr Kapoor and the engineer Cecil Balmond and is the tallest sculpture in the UK.
Visitors will be able to take a trip up the structure in a huge lift and will have the option of walking down the spiral staircase. However Mr Kapoor told Channel 4 News that the £15 entry cost to visit the top of the Orbit during the Olympics game was "too high".
"For the three weeks of the Olympics I think the price is ridiculously high," he said.
"There is an economic reality others are dealing with. We have pushed very very hard to keep this as democratic as possible so that in the post-Olympic mode it's my avowed hope that the price will go down considerably."
Orbit is 22m taller than the Statue of Liberty in New York and offers unparalleled views from a special viewing platform.
'A gigantic mutant trombone'
Since its unveiling, the Orbit tower has polarised opinion. London mayor Boris Johnson acknowledged that it had been compared to "a gigantic mutant trombone", but he praised the design.
There is an economic reality others are dealing with. We have pushed very very hard to keep this as democratic as possible so that in the post-Olympic mode it's my avowed hope that the price will go down considerably. Anish Kapoor
"It is a wonderful piece. A true Kapoor. It is not a simple structure like the Shard or the Eiffel Tower. It's complex - and it rewards the eye," he said. "I think it will help to bring people to the park. It will help to drive and jobs in the area.
"The idea was to create an attraction, a point of attraction. A focus for this part of the Olympic Park."
In order to minimise disruption, the Orbit was put up without scaffolding, and essentially by three men: one in a crane and two rising slowly on cherry pickers, bolting the structure together.
Work to build the structure started in November 2010 and finished in April 2011.
Tower of Babel
Steel company ArcelorMittal - owned by steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal - funded £16m of the project with £3.1m provided by the London Development Agency.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Kapoor said he wanted to create something that was continually in movement and that had a different perspective depending on where you viewed it from.
"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," he said. "Like a Tower of Babel, it requires real participation from the public."
30 January 2012