Based in the Netherlands, P&P Projects has over 20 years’ experience in the design and production of a wide range of leisure projects. Two years ago the company started a new offshoot, P&P Project Development, so that it could get involved in projects at a much earlier stage and help clients assemble the full team needed to realise an attraction from scratch. The first project to benefit from this approach was the Odysseum, a new interactive science centre in Cologne (Köln), Germany, which opened last month. Park World talks to P&P’s Philipp van Stratum (pictured above) about this and the company’s many other recent projects
What did your work at the Odysseum involve?
We were asked to develop a new kind of science experience. It was to be science wrapped in a themed environment were visitors should be overwhelmed by the rooms and the exhibits needed to be discovered. We found ourselves being torn between science, entertainment, budget and other regulations, all needing the same amount of attention.
First we had to develop a storyline and the visitor flow using so called transport capsules. We had to work closely with the exhibit designers who had come up with designs to fit into our scenery. We did the exhibit development and design of the space ourselves.
Who was your client and did they have any experience in the attractions industry?
The project started as an initiative from Professor Rademacher and was later embraced by the Sparkasse bank in Cologne and the German government. Our client had no experience in the leisure sector whatsoever and was therefore assisted by a consultancy called AWC. You could say that this inexperience had both positive and negative outcomes as the client entered into the project with an open mind, but mistakes were also inevitable. We were constantly challenged us to make changes and come up new ideas when, for instance, the building shrunk by 10% half way through the project.
Tell us about the new parade at Lotte World in South Korea
Lotte World celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and asked various companies to tender for a new parade. We bid with a concept that every day is a party at the park, and all its characters share the party with you as a guest. It means that the park’s various attractions are represented on the floats. You just have to look around in the park to see the great themes. The idea that when the visitor goes home, the imaginary inhabitants of the park come out and play appealed to Lotte World.
Is this the first time P&P has produced a full parade?
It is not the first time we have done music and show effects, but it is the first time that we combine all these skills in a parade. We have done films, music and show elements in museums and attractions before, but this is the first parade we have done from A to Z.
You also working on the eagerly-awaited Nürburgring project in Germany. Tell us a bit more about it…
The Nürburgring racetrack in Nürnberg is developing a new boulevard which also includes a themed experience where motor sport enthusiasts can see and experience different aspects of racing. We are responsible for the total theming of the race experience, which includes dark rides, a rollercoaster, a big theatre, race simulation, pit boxes, car replicas etc. In 20 years, this is the first project we have worked on about racing cars, and the project itself is unique because it has so many surprising attractions around this theme. It is not your average motor museum you might expect at a historic racing track like this.
What else is P&P working on right now?
We’ve just completed the theming on the Blue Fire Megacoaster at Europa-Park in Germany and are also working on a few other projects we cannot yet mention but you will soon hear of. One of these involves high speed, the other has to do with water.