Development – Parque de Atracciones de Madrid
Opening in May 2014, this branded land expansion is part of the Parque de Atracciones de Madrid theme park in Spain.
While developing the Nickelodeon brand standards applied to environments, I was asked to review the plans for the intended land expansion and add branding elements to the planned environment. By utilizing all current site plans provided by the team, in this case many were AutoCAD files, I assembled a massing model and produced components within to form a working area development model. This is a common area of work for branding studies and to flag any potential conflicts before they are built. In order to establish a standard of brand presence in environments, you need to have an understanding of many factors to determine what criteria is critical to the expansion. This is achieved by collecting final programming requirements from the various parties involved. This process crosses many disciplines when it comes to take a brand or intellectual property from a 2D standard to a 3D standard. Recommendations are made once the model is assembled in accordance with all expansion needs. The process requires an understanding of many factors that effect a parks daily operation.
Having a great deal of experience producing designs for many facilities including properties established by Universal Studios & Walt Disney Imagineering and previously managing the offices of two sign companies has been an added plus in the understanding designs that apply to the field of branding spaces in theme park development. Reviewing a design is a process of systematic compromises to produce working solutions to meet the best case scenario for all requirements of the park. A few examples to consider when it comes to branding an expansion is to know the guest flow, capacity, and durations of stay intended for the addition. Additionally, knowing what elements will be a conflict in this area and beyond is critical in developing a working plan.
On many occasions it has been a common occurrence for site plans to go through several passes of configuration. Usually this is due to advancing to a next level of the design phase to 3D modeling. Determining a guest’s point of view is important when it comes to branding an environment. Knowing what your demographic is also plays a part.
The modeling phase has to follow many rules in the process to achieve a design that is not just creative to have a unique presence, but carry the functional needs for the park operators while still maintaining the projected path of revenue. Orienting a facility that contains an attraction within should be based on the approach of quests to the entry point to provide for a best reveal and point of view for the guests of all ages. It is the guest’s cone of vision that is a core guiding process while branding an environment and a modeller walks in these shoes when designing an immersive space.
In the case of the Nickelodeon Land, assembling the massing model was all familiar territory. Finding conflicts where existing trees and lighting block intended branding and signage is one common occurrence that changes a site plan. This site in particular was a national forest so there were some existing trees that were requested not to be removed. Other guiding principles were understanding what statement the brand or intellectual property needed to make on the design and what stage the guest is in as they progress through the land and facilities. Understandably, many factors guide the design process, but setting priorities also established what was critical and what could be adjusted.
Featured here are various renderings produced from the massing model as well as examples of the site plans that were noted with any existing and potential conflicts when the design process reached the 3D stage. The documentation produced in this phase was then issued to the team to further advance the project design before final construction.
This render shows a point of view where existing trees obstruct various views from an outdoor dining area. Understanding that landscaping has a great deal of importance when defining environments, it’s important to know what type of trees will form large shadows when mature and in season and what types take the smallest footprint to form screening to best block views of non-themed facility walls and back of house operational areas. These are all additional things to consider when modeling an environment from a 2D site plan. Usually the intent is to immerse the guest within the themed space, landscaping adds filler, screening and a lush atmosphere to many environments to provide an envelope for an expansion or attraction facility. Sight lines are a factor when placing and determining landscaping to avoid conflicts when the intent is to immerse the guests within specific areas of intellectual property and avoid a distracting contrast when facilities may be adjacent or side by side.
The Train Station
The train station was modeled from scratch from field photography to show it’s existing location in relation to the planned new structures. Drawings of the station were not available. Nickelodeon wanted the existing station to have a new paint treatment with colors to represent the Nickelodeon brand. The paint treatment was decided in advance of the model work.
The refinished train station.
Rendered views from the 3D model
Previous condition and progress view of the train station.