Artist Sir Anish Kapoor gives his bless­ing to a slide be­ing wrapped around his Or­bit sculp­ture as its launch day is re­vealed

The Wharf - - Front Page - Alex McIn­tyre Tick­ets are on sale at arcelor­mit­talor­bit.com

Tick­ets are on sale for the Arcelor-Mit­tal Or­bit slide at the Queen El­iz­a­beth Olympic Park as the own­ers look to turn around its for­tunes.

The slip­pery ad­di­tion to the 114.5m sculp­ture, the tallest in the UK, will open on Fri­day, June 24.

The slide has been de­signed by artist Carsten Holler who was in­vited to draw up the plan by Or­bit cre­ator Sir Anish Kapoor.

Sir Anish said: “What’s pro­posed is that you go in and you look at the Or­bit first.

“There’s a dark room you en­ter, there are mir­rors that make it look like you are in­side a cam­era look­ing at the view, and then you get the slide and the ex­pe­ri­ence of ver­tigo and fall­ing.

“On one hand, when you look at it at a ba­nal level it is purely an id­i­otic ex­pe­ri­ence. But there are other pos­si­bil­i­ties and mean­ings, so it’s about that play be­tween the two.

“It’s fine for peo­ple to look at it as just hav­ing fun. Of course I want more out of it but you bring to it what you can as an in­di­vid­ual.”

The 178m-long con­struc­tion will cost £3.5mil­lion and will be the world’s long­est en­closed slide.

It was re­vealed that the Arcelor-Mit­tal Or­bit made a loss of £500,000 in 2015/16 and cost £2mil­lion a year to run.

It is hoped that the num­ber of an­nual vis­i­tors will be dou­bled from the cur­rent 120,000.

ArcelorMit­tal’s head of brand Ian Louden said: “Dur­ing the Olympic Games the Or­bit was a great suc­cess. When­ever you saw some­one in­ter­viewed on TV, it was right there in the back­ground.

“Then the park was closed down tem­po­rar­ily be­cause many of the spa­ces were de­signed for the games but were in­ap­pro­pri­ate for re­duced num­bers of peo­ple.

“The slide is go­ing to bring a lot more peo­ple to the area. It does need to make some more money.”

But de­spite the need to make more money with the at­trac­tion, Sir Anish believes that vis­it­ing the Or­bit should be free.

He said: “It is good to have ob­jects that are not eco­nom­i­cally driven, even though it costs money to go into that thing. I’m on record as say­ing that it ought to be free but it’s not my de­ci­sion.”

Adult vis­i­tors will be able to en­joy the 40-sec­ond ride for £17, 43p per sec­ond, with child ad­mis­sion cost­ing £12 or 30p a sec­ond.

GETTY

Sir Anish Kapoor and Carsten Holler pose for pho­tog­ra­phers in front of the ArcelorMit­tal Or­bit tower

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