The Carsten Höller-designed tunnel slide attached to the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture in London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park opened to the public today. At 178 meters in length (or 584 feet), the slide is not only world's longest, but also the tallest. British-Indian sculptor Anish Kapoor's 114.5-meter (375 feet) ArcelorMittal Orbit became the United Kingdom's tallest public artwork when it was completed in 2012. The City of London comissioned Kapoor to design the sculpture to overlook the Olympic Park sports complex, which was built to house the 2012 Olympic summer games.
Made up of 30 sections each varying in size from about 16 to 30 feet, the slide spirals down Kapoor's sculpture 12 times, shooting riders at speeds up to 15 mph during the 40-second-long descent, which ends with a final exhilirating 15-story drop back to Earth, according to TIME Magazine. Visitors will need to pay £10 (about $14) to ride.
The Belgian artist has brought a number of his signature slides to London in the past, the most recent being "Decisions" at the Hayward Gallery last summer, which gave visitors the option to exit the museum via one of two "Isometric Slides." Critics also celebrated Höller's installation of interwoven constructions at the Tate Modern's Turbine Hall in 2007. The ArcelorMittal Orbit project is Höller's first installation built onto another artwork. "I like it when a sense of unity is reached in two separate entities," Höller says in a press release from Queen Elizabeth's Olympic Park.