Kung Fu Panda Academy at Gardaland

The project vision was to bring Dreamworks's Kung Fu Panda intellectual property to the setting of Gardaland - a family-run theme park and resort, near the picturesque Lake Garda, in Italy.

Gardaland is continually looking for ways to improve the park in order to ensure its loyal following of local and international patrons have an enjoyable experience. A multi-million-euro sum has been invested to reinvigorate the park. 'Kung Fu Panda Academy' is just one feature set to appear over the course of the update.

Working closely with Merlin Magic Making, Cod Steaks created a workable design concept which needed minimal changes to become a reality.

The initial stage of the project was one of extensive research - it was important to gain an understanding of the world in which Po and his friends existed. Our design team then worked through the plans and elevations of the existing venue, deconstructing the space to examine the structural demands, visitor flow requirements and overarching need to create an exciting, fun environment. These insights were developed into a proposal that used the Kung Fu Panda intellectual property to its full potential.

A variety of approaches were used to convey the impact, possibility and sense of occasion envisioned for the end product - from 3D renders to hand-drawn illustrations, and composites of both. Particular consideration was paid to the structural detailing, use of materials and feasibility of utilising pre-existing structural elements in order to reduce the amount of groundworks and construction required.


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