Project for the London Olympics 2012

Orbit was commissioned by the Greater London Authority from a shortlist of artist’s proposals for a permanent tower for the Olympic Park. Construction started in November 2010 and was completed in May 2012

Sketchbook drawings

Orbit models

“I wanted the sensation of instability, something that was continually in movement. 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. … It is an object that cannot be perceived as having a singular image, from any one perspective. You need to journey round the object, and through it. Like a Tower of Babel, it requires real participation from the public” — Anish Kapoor

The Tower of Babel Pieter Bruegel the Elder, oil on panel, c. 1563

“There is a kind of medieval sense to it of reaching up to the sky, building the impossible. A procession, if you like. It's a long winding spiral: a folly that aspires to go even above the clouds and has something mythic about it.” — Anish Kapoor


Orbit from memory

Orbit. In conversation with Tim Marlow

Installing Orbit

The Adventures of Anish Kapoor Olympic Saviour