How ugly is the Orbit?

Stevie Martin asked members of the Harlow public what they thought of this piece of architecture, as the Orbit has provoked great public debate. Some feel it is an architectural wonder, while others think it is a blot on the landscape.

The ArchlorMittal Orbit or ‘Orbit’, as its otherwise known, was built for the 2012 Olympic Games by Turner prize winning artist ‘Sir Anish Kapoor’.

The building cost £19.1 million to build and was not designed to be functional, but a ‘permanent, lasting legacy of London hosting the games’.

Here’s what Essex residents had to say:


“I think it’s a nice attraction but it’s a bit pointless to be honest.”


“Yes I have heard of it. I don’t think it’s’ ugly, it is modern art, but not worth the money.”


“No I don’t think it was worth the money because it’s just a weird statue and it fails to represent the Olympics well. If people didn’t know it was the Olympic park, they would just think it’s a weird statue achieving nothing.”


“When you look at the building, it’s difficult to understand. I don’t see the five Olympic hoops represented on the building, like you just pointed out. It’s not been explained and I don’t get what it stands for.”


“I wouldn’t say England needs any unique structures in the first place; frankly, I think it’s a waste of money.”


“I’ve heard of it and I do think it’s ugly, and I definitely don’t think its representative of the games. It’s artistic, but I don’t understand the link between the games and the building. I think the money could have gone to better things.”


“I have seen it, yes, and I think it looks messy – like a tacky eighties fair ride. The money could have been spent better and I don’t think it was worth it or needed.”


“I’ve never seen it, but you don’t think ‘the Olympic games’ when you see it – you just see an unusual building. It wasn’t worth the money spent and it’s not very attractive. The fact that the hoops on it are supposed to represent the Olympic hoops is odd because it doesn’t remind me of them at all.”


“It’s ugly, I can see the architectural design but no it wasn’t worth the money – maybe a more artistic mind can appreciate it, but men in the street? No.

People who’re into sport may not be able to appreciate it either.

As for the money, I think it was a good idea to have some kind of emblem…an iconic kind of structure, but I don’t personally like the end result. For this reason, I suppose you can justify spending so much money on it – but the end result isn’t impressive.

They could have created something much more functional, like the swimming pool at the park, but they created it just to market.

When I was young and I saw statues or buildings like that, it was inspiring and can inspire people.

A swimming pool is a swimming pool – just like the aquatic centre used by London residents today – but something like this, although expensive, could be seen for more inspirational purposes I suppose.”


“I have seen it in real life and it’s got its attraction I guess, so it’s not ugly – just different. As for the money spent, I think it’s too much and wasn’t worth it.”

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