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ArcelorMittal Orbit: the engineer's story

With more than a 1,000 tonnes of twisted steel the ArcelorMittal Orbit is the centrepiece of the Stratford skyline. This programme looks at how Arup, the scheme's engineer, turned designers Anish Kapoor's and Cecil Balmond's sketches into reality.

Key learning:

  • How the diagrid was made and the different types of joins used
  • The significance of natural frequencies and vortex shedding
  • The sculpture's mass damper explained
  • The essential role of computer technology in making the sculpture
  • How the metal sections were manufactured

About the contributors

Richard Henly is an Associate Director at Arup and Partners, where he has worked for more than 30 years, and the Project Director for the ArcelorMittal Orbit project. A chartered civil engineer, he has specific knowledge of building structures, multidisciplinary design and working with historic/heritage buildings and structures.

Dan Powell is an Associate Director and structural dynamics specialist in Arupís Advanced Technology and Research Practice. Over his 12 years with Arup he has been responsible for the design and development of vibration damping systems on a wide variety of structures.

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Disclaimer: NBS TV programmes are the intellectual property of RIBA Enterprises and it shall be a breach of this right to copy, or in any way exploit commercially or show in public any of the programmes without the express permission of RIBA Enterprises.

The information contained in the programmes is not intended and accordingly shall not be relied upon either as a substitute for professional advice or judgement or to provide legal or other advice with respect to any particular circumstance. RIBA Enterprises accepts no responsibility for loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the information contained in the programmes.


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