The tower is also known as the ArcelorMittal Orbit has been designed by the artist Anish Kapoor and structural designer Cecil Balmond. It is now officially the tallest sculpture in the UK. The cost of the tower has been funded by the steel company ArcelorMittal (£19.2m) and the London Development Agency (£3.1m).
London Mayor Boris Johnson helped raise the funds for the tower by convincing Lakshmi Mittal, Britain’s richest man, to get his company to provide the 1400 tons of metal required to build the structure. The two only spoke for less than a minute and it seems that Mittal thought his company were just supplying some metal whereas they actually had to get involved with the artists in construction of the tower.
Anish Kapoor has said that one of the inspirations behind the design was the Tower of Babel and there was also the sense that something with the style of the Eiffel Tower was needed to match the sense of occasion. The Eiffel Tower (320m tall) was originally built to provide the entrance archway for the 1889 World’s Fair.
Although the Tower is being unveiled today it will not be open to the public until 28 July. From that date visitors will be able to travel by lift to the top of the Tower and then either travel down again by lift or they also have the option of walking back down via a 455 step spiral staircase.
The Tower incorporates the 5 Olympic rings in its design and it is hoped that it will bring in as many as 1m visitors a year. Others have been less positive about its future and comparisons have been made with Skylon, a 90m steel structure which was built as part of the 1951 Festival of Britain before being dismantled and sold for scrap in 1952.
Ticket prices are £15 for adults and £7 for children whilst the Olympics are on. If you are interested in going up the Olympic Orbit Tower tickets should be available later this month via the official London 2012 tickets site. Although timings are not yet confirmed it is expected that the attraction will be able to handle between 500 and 770 people per hour. On a clear day visitors can expect to see views of London covering a 20 mile radius.
Curtis has written and/or directed many of the British rom-com classics including Notting Hill, Four Wedding and a Funeral, Love Actually and Bridget Jones.
The new movie will have a bit of a sci-fi feel about it as the storyline concerns a man who can travel back in time and meets the girl of his dreams, no prizes for guessing who the girl is. The time traveller will be played by Domnhall Gleeson, a well-respected Irish actor who has a number of stage, television and movie roles behind him but is probably best-known for his role as Bill Weasley in the Harry Potter movies. Domnhall’s father Brendan also played Alastor Moody in the Harry Potter series.
Rachel McAdams will be replacing Zooey Deschanel who was originally in talks for the main female role.
Other actors expected to appear in the movie include Tom Hollander, Bill Nighy and Vanessa Kirby. Filming is scheduled to start in London next month.
Rachel has been getting a lot of good press over the last year or so with her appearances in Midnight In Paris and The Vow. She also starred as Irene Adler opposite Robert Downey Jr in the 2009 Sherlock Holmes movie.
She is next going to be seen in cinemas in the new, as yet unnamed, Terence Malik movie with Ben Affleck, Rachel Weisz, Javier Bardem and her Welsh boyfriend actor Michael Sheen. She can also be seen in Passion the new Brian De Palma film where she is to be seen sharing a kiss with Girl With The Dragon Tattoo star Noomi Rapace.