London Olympic sculpture gets wrap-around helter skelter

Plans by Bblur Architects to create the world’s “longest and tallest tunnel slide” which will run down the length of London’s Orbit Tower, have been approved.

The helter-skelter will measure 178m in length, 76m in height and the descent, through transparent sections so that users can see out at the city skyline, will take 40 seconds.

The London firm – which also worked with Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners on a bridge that spans the roof of the O2 Arena – designed the slide to loop around the sculpture and observation tower in the London 2012 Olympic park.

Visitors will reach speeds of up to 15 miles per hour on their descent to the ground.

The slide will open in spring 2016 and cost around $7 per trip. Park officials said it would give a “different perspective” of the tower.

Spokesman Peter Tudor said: “We are committed to ensuring our visitors have the best possible day out every time they visit, and as with all our venues, we are constantly exploring ways to ensure we lead the way with the latest visitor experience.”

Turner Prize-winning artist Anish Kapoor and structural designer Cecil Balmond designed the tower for the 2012 Olympics.