Paragon Creative is delighted to have completed work on KidZania London, the UK’s first Educational Entertainment Experience inside the Westfield London Shopping Centre, Shepherd’s Bush.
Children who visit KidZania enter a stunning 75,000sq ft mini city, built at 2/3rd scale over two storeys, where they can take part in more than 60 real life role-play activities. Roles can include working in a bank, department store, fighting crime as a police officer or even piloting a commercial airliner. Each activity is aimed to teach children essential life skills such as teamwork, independence, financial literacy and confidence. When children complete an activity they earn ‘Kidzos’- KidZania’s own version of real life money, which they can either spend in the attraction’s gift shop, or put it towards further activities.
One key activity is the ‘Burning Building’ that simulates a real Hotel fire, through theming, lighting, sound and smoke effects. Children who are training to be fire fighters arrive at the scene wearing fireman’s outfits, on their custom built miniature fire engine and tackle the faux blaze with a series of fixed water hoses that pump over 5,000 litres of recycled water per hour, which extinguishes the fire. This provides a realistic and highly immersive learning experience for the children taking part in the activity within a controlled environment.
Paragon’s work included the building facades, 5 full height realistic trees, three electric vehicles and a KidZania water fountain. All the work was pre-fabricated in our 80,000 square foot facilities and brought to London from York. This strategy allowed Paragon to minimize site presence at Westfield London.
The Stadium with tiered seating has been built at one end of the City whilst at the opposite end of KidZania we have built a large climbing wall themed on London town houses, where young climbers can attempt to climb the buildings on each of the 5 routes of varying difficulty.
Paragon Creative’s biggest challenge on the project was to source, modify, transport and install the fuselage of an actual airliner. The A319 Airbus was purchased from a plane recycling company in Cirencester. It was then stripped and modified, before being transported by road from the Cotswold’s through central London to arrive in Shepherd’s Bush. After closing the road and the adjoining railway track specialist lifting equipment and two 250 tonne cranes were used to simultaneously hoist the fuselage six storeys into the air and then place it into the building where it now sits as part of a themed airport lounge at the entrance to KidZania. Installed within the fuselage of the plane are four highly technical flight simulators, which forms part of the Aviation Academy activity where children can learn how to fly the plane and become airline pilots. The plane now sits in its new home forming part of the new airport arrivals lounge, a breath-taking sight to all who enter.
This City opened in June 2015 to the delight of children and parents alike and we are proud to have worked on one of the world’s greatest attraction brands.