Grotesque Tangle of Steel Spaghetti?

We always knew that it would attract controversy, and now David Crawford writing in the letters section of the Scottish online Herald newspaper describes the ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower as “A grotesque tangle of steel spaghetti” !!

Tangle of steel that is Orbit tower a fitting metaphor for Olympics | Herald Scotland

Tangle of steel that is Orbit tower

my first thoughts were: “What a monstrosity”

but then goes on to explain:

The structure is actually a viewing platform, some would say a vanity project, intended to be a local landmark for future generations, a twisted deformed mini Blackpool Tower.

So I guess he’s starting to fall in love with it then.

“Grotesque tangle of steel spaghetti” has a certain ring to it but it doesn’t trip off the tongue quite so easily as “monstrous carbuncle”1. Come on Scotland, you can do better than this.

Drunken Party Animal

Orbit tower a drunken party animal of a building

Orbit tower a drunken party animal of a building

Back in May, Jonathan Jones in the Guardian called the Orbit a “Drunken Party Animal” but then went on to explain his new found affection for the sculpture after experiencing the viewing platform’s secrets.

Critics of the ArcelorMittal Orbit are missing a lot of fun


Some More descriptions of the Orbit Tower:

  • the rust-red ArcelorMittal Orbit tower twists and wriggles 377 feet upward to an observation platform – Richard Holledge, ArtNews
  • Boris Johnson’s ‘Tower of Piffle” is one of the names invented by journalists for what is properly called the ArcelorMittal Orbit. –  Games Monitor
  • drubbed in the British press, with critics calling it the “Eye-Ful Tower” and “the Godzilla of public art.”
  • New York Times: the unfortunate 375-foot, or 115-meter, observation tower built next to the main stadium, which looks like a roller coaster that has just emerged from a trash compactor.


  • What is the red tower next to the olympic stadium? Meet The Orbit Tower
  • What does the red spiral building thing in the olympic park do?  It’s ART – and a viewing platform / visitor attraction.
  • What’s that red and grey spiral thing at the olympics park?  see above
  • Can I go into that statue by the olympic stadium without a ticket? No see Orbit Tower Tickets
  • How much does it cost to climb the orbit? £15 or £7 with concessions – but you need Olympic Park or events tickets to be inside the park somehow, as well.

  1. Prince Charles described a proposed extension to the National Gallery in London as a “monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved friend” []
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