The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit

Spiralling success extends our relationship with the London Legacy Development Corporation

Our project management of the world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide will help attract visitors to London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and help accelerate the regeneration of east London.

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The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit Project summary

Client

London Legacy Development Corporation

Key partners

Carsten Höller and Anish Kapoor

Services provided

Project and programme management, Consultancy

Sectors

Leisure and sport, Leisure and sport

Locations

UK and Europe, UK - London and south-east England

Project timeline

Start date
February 2015
End date
June 2016
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Project story

The ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture was designed by the internationally acclaimed Anish Kapoor and Cecil Balmond for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and has recently reopened as an observation tower.

The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) appointed us to project manage the addition of a slide designed by Belgian artist Carsten Höller. Our work began at the very start - considering the feasibility of wrapping a slide around the existing structure - and continued through the design, procurement and construction phases.

It was vital to understand what impact adding a slide would have on the original structure. We had to define a route that worked in harmony with the sculpture's existing design, both visually and structurally.

We then had to develop bespoke procedures to install the 178m-long slide. Its 30 stainless steel sections, each between five and nine metres in length, were lifted into place by a team of specialist abseilers using a complex system of ropes and pulleys.

Project stats

178m long
12 twists and turns during the 40 second descent
30 stainless steel sections make up the slide
76m in height

Points of note

Bringing together stakeholders

Our team was the driving force behind the project from the beginning. We worked closely with the local planning authority and design team to bring together the different disciplines required for the design of the slide, facilitating communication between stakeholders to ensure a collaborative approach across the design and planning stage. We also led the procurement of a contractor in a difficult, niche market.

Ensuring value for money

To achieve value for money for the Legacy Corporation, we regularly travelled to Germany to monitor and challenge the contractors during the fabrication of the slide's steel sections.

A very public project

The whole project was achieved while working in a live environment, as the upper level of the ArcelorMittal Orbit viewing platform remained open to the public throughout the project.

A long-term relationship

Our relationship with Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park started in 2006 when we were appointed as part of the CLM delivery partner consortium by the Olympic Delivery Authority. Our relationship continued following the London 2012 Games supporting the Legacy Corporation's transformation of the park and stadium. Over the coming years, our programme and project management expertise will continue to play a major role in ensuring the ambitious legacy promises for the park are realised.

“This iconic project not only provides another fun destination for the local community and visitors 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 that will symbolise a lasting legacy at the park for years to come.”

“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.”