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0603 Vertigo
theming of a new ride in Walibi Belgium amusement park
Location :
Wavre
Client :
Walibi Belgium
Cost :
520.000,00 EUR excl VAT
Team :
AgwA + Greisch
Planning :
2006
Category :
Completed
Whilst the European cities are gradually getting shaped like theme parks through historicist decorations, politically correct facadism and passeist regulations, what specificity has been left over to theme parks? Perhaps they could respond to this situation by proposing contemporary spaces instead of heterochronic projections? Structural and spontaneous spots instead of artificial and decorative ornaments?
Indeed, theme parks are in essence heterotopic places out of space and time. Now that cities project themselves in so-called better times, and whilst housing gets sprawled in pseudo rural styles, will theme parks become the last places of concrete reality?
Some kind of reality blues?
We thought this frightening perspective might be worth a try, and we proposed not to dissociate the theme from the attraction itself, in an effort to show it «as-is». The attraction should be revealed in its nudity, instead of being packed in an outdated decoration. Its technology and engineering should be exhibited and not camouflaged. Reality without shame.
What we actually designed is no theme at all. The main idea is to enclose the attraction’s station and queueline in a light and industrial translucent skin, revealing the technicality of the attraction while preserving some mystery and untold presence. The visitor is teased by this unusual object an by this game of troubled perception.
Walibi got seduced, eager to set milestones in theming issues.

The project has been presented in numerous publications in the national and international press, and in several exhibitions.

pictures © Marie-Françoise Plissart