Has anyone else noticed the budding roller coaster trend? I swear, the curvilinear loop-dee-loop normally reserved for amusement parks is making its way into modern design. Let’s start with the “Rollercoaster” pavilion in Beijing, designed by Interval Architects.
Even though it’s situated in a schoolyard, the structure actually has less to do with the idea of play and more to do with creating an efficient use of public space. The “continuous, self-folding belt structure” acts as both a bench and an overhang, easily snaking around the preexisting landscaping. And whether the designers were dreaming of amusement parks rides or not, what kid wouldn’t welcome a roller coaster-inspired view outside his classroom window?
Next up is “Tiger and Turtle – Magic Mountain,” a walkable sculpture (for those anti-artsy designers out there, that means it serves no actual purpose) by artists Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth. Built on the highest hilltop in a park in Duisburg, Germany, visitors are welcome to “ride” it like a slow motion roller coaster. But those intent on walking the entire pathway are stopped by a giant loop in the middle. For those completionists out there – I wouldn’t attempt it, even with a running head start.
Photos by Interval Architects & Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth.