Using inspiration from Chinese traditions in landscape painting and garden design, the team from Grimshaw has created a new public space at the centre of Tomorrowland in the newest Disney Resort in Shanghai.
Architect firm Grimshaw were briefed by Disney on designing the enclosure and surrounds of the ‘TRON Lightcycle Power Run’, a steel roller coaster that is one of the park’s main attractions. The scheme features a series of elevated pathways, water features, linked open spaces, and one-of-a-kind ribbon-like structures, which have been designed to “coalesce with the natural landscape”.
“We came up with the idea of creating a certain topography; a three-dimensional form where we have ramps and stairs, where movement through the park became almost an experience in its own right,” explains Grimshaw deputy chairman, Andrew Whalley.
“The park centrepiece is the lightweight structure and the ETFE foil roof, so we took this idea a step further, with it being very exciting if the ride explodes out and through the roof structure.”
The architects worked closely with Walt Disney Imagineering, the research and development arm of the Walt Disney Company. The arcing ETFE canopy traces the curves of the attraction while shading guests from sun and rain. A diverse collection of native plants punctuate the scheme’s sinuous paths, with natural and manmade elements blending together. Meanwhile, an array of lighting effects are integrated into the landscape surrounding the ride.
Take a ride to Tomorrowland!
Images by Stefen Chow