Architecture firm Grimshaw has recently completed the TRON Lightcycle Power Run rollercoaster at the Shanghai Disney Resort’s Tomorrowland. Working hand in hand with the Walt Disney Imagineering, the Grimshaw team has designed a unique experience for guests to the company’s newest theme park.
“Tomorrowland speaks with optimism about our future,” says Vincent Chang, Grimshaw’s Managing Partner Group. “Its very origins, beginning with Walt Disney’s vision for the earliest parks, focused on the exciting issues of the times: space exploration, and the promise of technology in creating a better tomorrow.”
Building on this spirit of innovation and exploring humanity’s relationship to both the natural and built environment, the result is the sophisticated architectural enclosure and surrounds of the TRON Lightcycle Power Run. The scheme features a series of elevated pathways, water features, linked open spaces and one-of-a-kind ribbon-like structures that coalesce with the natural landscape to express a vibrant and stimulating glimpse of the forward-thinking that Tomorrowland embodies.
“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 centerpiece 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.”
Utilising technology, careful material choices, and multi-level topography combined with soaring geometries, the park has emerged as an engaging environment for visitors amidst an unfurling journey to the future.
all images © Stefen Chow