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The ArcelorMittal Orbit and the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games: a legacy for London


When London won the bid to host the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, the victory was based on more than a promise to deliver a magical sporting event – it was also based on a pledge to leave a lasting legacy for communities through the regeneration of east London

The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is the strongest emblem of this legacy and it offers the best in sporting and cultural amenities in world-renowned venues and parkland, as well as five new neighbourhoods of up to 11,000 new homes.

One Park, two distinct characters

By 2016 the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park is expected to attract 9.3 million visitors per annum. The southern area of the Park will be focused on urban entertainment and will be anchored by the Stadium, the Aquatics Centre and the UK’s tallest sculpture and the Park’s first attraction – the ArcelorMittal Orbit. Over time, the area will become home to a range of additional attractions, as well as providing a rolling programme of cultural, sporting and community events.

The river valley in the north of the Park is aimed at local families and will be centred around the Velodrome, a new business district around the broadcast centre and press centre, waterways, landscaped parklands and entertainment lawns.

Stratford rising

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park sits at the centre of the largest regeneration initiative in the developed world, with more than £12.5bn of private and public sector investment in the Stratford area. By 2020, Stratford will be home to Europe’s largest urban shopping centre, Westfield Stratford City (which opened in September 2011), the £1.3bn Lendlease office development, the 2,800-home Athletes’ Village and five Olympic and Paralympic venues.

Standing 114.5m tall and changing the perspectives of Londoners and the world towards east London, the ArcelorMittal Orbit is a symbol of this transformation.

A new attraction for London

The ArcelorMittal Orbit will attract up to one million visitors per year and will join the ranks of world-famous structures such as the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower.

It will directly contribute to the growth of the area, creating jobs, bringing tourism revenue into the east London economy and helping to establish Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as one of London’s top-10 visitor destinations.

“Our ambition was to turn the [Olympic] site into a place of destination, a must-see item on the tourist itinerary,” says London Mayor Boris Johnson. “We believe the ArcelorMittal Orbit will help us to achieve that aim.”

The ArcelorMittal Orbit also stands as a constant symbol of the teamwork, effort and achievement that London’s Olympic and Paralympic bid hoped to encourage in young people.

Its designers – Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond – provided the aspiration and vision for the ArcelorMittal Orbit. ArcelorMittal – in partnership with Watson Steel, which built the tower – has turned that vision into a reality.

The ArcelorMittal Orbit

Designed by Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond, the ArcelorMittal Orbit is the UK’s tallest sculpture and a 114.5m high observation tower located between the Stadium and Aquatics Centre on the Olympic Park.

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

Since London 2012, the Olympic Park has been transformed into a new metropolitan district for London. Beginning to reopen from summer/autumn 2013, it will offer the best in sporting and cultural amenities, unrivalled transport links and beautiful parklands. The Park will attract regional and international visitors and create new business opportunities, and will boast open spaces, state-of-the-art venues and a cluster of dynamic neighbourhoods. With Europe’s largest urban shopping centre, Westfield Stratford City, providing world-class shopping, entertainment and hotels, the Park is set to become London’s new cultural and business destination.

New neighbourhoods

Once the Olympic Games finished, work started on establishing five new neighbourhoods around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Following a public competition, the neighbourhoods have been named – Chobham Manor, East Wick, Marshgate Wharf, Sweetwater and Pudding Mill.

Each of these neighbourhoods will have their own distinct character and, as is typical for London, will bring tradition and innovation together in a landscape of quality family homes, waterways, parklands and open spaces.

Subject to planning approval, work will begin in early 2014 on Chobham Manor, the Park’s first new neighbourhood, set between the Athletes’ Village and the Velodrome. Families will begin moving into the new developments in 2015.

The Stadium

The centrepiece of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – the Stadium – has been retained as a public asset with athletics remaining at its heart. The owner of the Stadium, the London Legacy Development Corporation, is carrying out a public consultation to seek views on the revised planning application for the transformation of the stadium.

Athletes’ Village

The local community has benefited from the conversion of the Athletes’ Village into East Village, a neighbourhood of 2,800 new homes with an eco-friendly ethos.

The Aquatics Centre

The Aquatics Centre will offer two 50m pools and caters for all levels of swimming ability and aquatic disciplines and will be open to the local community from spring 2014.


The Velodrome will be the hub of the VeloPark, a world-class cycling facility, meeting the recreational, training and competition needs of cyclists, and supporting the continued development of competitive and non-competitive cycling across the UK. It is due to open to the public in early 2014.

The Multi-Use Arena

The Multi-Use Arena has been transformed into a new venue, the Copper Box Arena, with the flexible seating capacity and facilities for a wide range of indoor sports training and competitions, as well as cultural and business events. It was the first Olympic venue to open its doors on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

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