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Sliding into place

The Carsten Höller and Anish Kapoor Slide at London Legacy Development Corporation’s (LLDC) ArcelorMittal Orbit, has now had 20 of its 30 sections lifted into place – project managed by Mace.  

The world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide located in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will open on the 24th June this year. Riders will take about 40 seconds to descend while reaching speeds of up to 15 miles per hour. Tickets are now on sale and are available at www.arcelormittalorbit.com.

Mace was appointed project manager by LLDC in February 2015 and has been involved from feasibility stage – managing the design and procurement process all the way through to construction and completion phase. The feasibility of the design was important to understand because of how the addition of a slide would impact on the original structure. Therfore, the team needed to define a suitable route for The Slide to work in harmony with the existing ArcelorMittal Orbit design. 

The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit is 178m long and 76m high. It will twist and turn 12 times, including a tight corkscrew section named the ‘bettfeder’ – after the German word for bedspring. The Slide ends with a 50m straight run to the ground. It’s made from 800mm diameter by 3mm thick stainless steel tubes that make up 30 sections in total.

This unique collaboration between two of the world’s leading artists is fast taking shape. People will be able to travel down the UK’s tallest public artwork through light and dark sections – thanks to see-through polycarbonate windows – as London’s dramatic skyline passes by.

The Slide’s sections each measure between five and nine metres long and the structure is being lifted into place by a team of specialist abseilers, using complex procedures involving ropes and pulleys that have been specially designed for this construction project.

Derry Power, Mace Project Manager at the ArcelorMittal Orbit, said: “This iconic project is not only going to provide another fun destination for the local community and visitors at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, but shows great collaboration between artists, designers, engineers, project managers and specialist contractors. The collaborative project team has worked tirelessly to design, develop and install a slide which will symbolise a lasting legacy at the park for years to come.”

Peter Tudor, Director of Visitor Services, London Legacy Development Corporation, said: “After taking in the incredible views of the city from the top of the ArcelorMittal Orbit, what better way to descend the UK’s tallest public artwork than by whizzing down a slide? This will be one of the most exciting things to do in London – and yet another reason to visit Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.”

Watch how The Slide has taken shape here.

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