City shooting for the moon
- 01 April 2014 07:00
- Posted by @MCFC
No one can accuse Manchester City of not recognising something ground-breaking and exciting when we see it.
So when we clapped eyes on the ‘The Orbit’, the iconic centrepiece and major talking point at the London 2012 Olympics, we knew we wanted to create our very own Northern version.
Yesterday’s thumbs up allowing us to move forward with our Etihad Stadium South Stand expansion was just the encouragement we needed.
Our inspiration, The ArcelorMittal Orbit Tower in Stratford, was designed by the renowned artist Anish Kapoor in conjunction with the structural designer Cecil Balmond.
Since the Games the 1,012’ tower has become a vibrant tourist attraction in its own right.
Now though Orbit is about to have a rival tentatively dubbed ‘The MoonSlide’ and the work of rising Asian architectural superstar Flora Pi Lo.
Incorporated in the design for the new South Stand, Lo’s seminal work will be a towering 1,204 feet and will be put to practical use on match days as well as being available for use on non-match days. It will be one of the interactive centre-pieces of the Etihad Campus incorporating the City Football Academy.
“I took my inspiration from many places but this will be a unique attraction,” declared 27-year-old Lo who called the Moon Slide her greatest test to date.
“I am sure City fans will love it. If they are feeling brave and up for a challenge then they can exit the stadium via the vast slide free of charge as part of the ticket price.
“At other times it will be a tourist attraction on a par with the great fun rides of the world.
“There is a touch of the Carsten Holler slide that some people might remember from the Turbine Hall space at the Tate Modern though ours will be longer and the drops more severe. Think a mix of that Holler creation and the Wild Wadi Waterpark in Dubai – without the water.”
The man responsible for overseeing the building of the slide and it blending in where possible is Peter Bradshaw, Head of Infrastructure Develop/Corp Responsibility.
“We have been working with our building partners and our friends at the City Council on what I am sure will be a stellar attraction not just for Manchester but for the whole of the North West,” he declared.
“The structure is unique in that it looks like one tall storey but is put together like a jigsaw. Flora’s design is immense. We are sure it is going to work and that the fans will like it and if it proves a success we might incorporate a smaller version at the North Stand end for our younger fans though they can use the big slide if with an adult.
“The great thing about the design is that it blends in perfectly with the original egress spirals at the stadium.
“It has been quite a stress maintaining secrecy but I’d like to thank everyone who has managed to keep it quiet.”
The Moon Slide is set to open in the Spring of 2015. A ride will take approximately 25 seconds. Sliders will be conveyed down on bespoke MoonBuggies and use a ‘payment token’ system called MoonRocks. Some of these will be provided free of charge via membership schemes.
Excited about the Moon Slide? Watch the video...