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Chris Lange designs for Kazakh destination Karavansaray

Chris Lange and his team at Creative Studio Berlin approach cultural storytelling in the context of a large-scale retail, dining and hospitality development

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photo of golden flying theatre dome at Karavan Saray at sunset

Architectural and experiential designers Chris Lange – Creative Studio Berlin worked on conceptual and design development of the themed integrated resort, Karavansaray, in Kazakhstan. The deeply story-driven environment opened in April 2021.

Rendering of a bird's eye view of the Karavan Saray boardwalk and water feature

An epic scale

After completing work on ‘Masha and the Bear Expansion’ at the Land of Legends in Antalya, Turkey, Chris Lange and his team at Creative Studio Berlin were approached with the Karavansaray project.

Concept design for the large-scale retail, dining and hospitality development began in late 2019. Creative Executive Chris Lange and his team had a short timeframe to work in because architectural planning and construction were already underway.

As a result, the designers moved quickly. For example, some of the decisions about what ride equipment to choose were based on on-time availability.

Preserving rich heritage

Lange says finding what he needed in German or English was a challenge. He explains this was because “Most of the information only exists in the Russian language.” Nevertheless, it was essential for Creative Studio Berlin to delve into and celebrate Kazakh culture in the project.

Because the site is within the perimeters of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, cultural literacy was critical. As a result, the teams worked to approvals in close collaboration.

Interior rendering of Karavan Saray Park

“From storytelling to design,” says Lange, “the key was always the understanding of the cultural pride and the rich heritage behind all of the experiences.”

The architecture design for the attractions needed to stay authentic but also be appealing to young audiences. Additionally, the various attractions had to integrate seamlessly. For example, in the “Magical Night Souk” Family Entertainment Center (FEC) several custom-themed rides looked like market booths which magically come to life.

The team also worked on the design for the boardwalk, which features an artificial lake and fountain show.

Rendering of the Karavan Saray flying theather dome

The Flying Theater by Brogent Technologies is located inside a giant, glimmering golden egg in a nest. Tapping into the story of the mythical bird Samruk, designers envisioned a flying theater perched inside the enormous ovoid. It was a tight fit to house state-of-the-art flying theater as well as several pre-show areas, such as ticketing and a gift shop, but the Creative Studio Berlin team found a way.

The Flying Theatre incorporates a sequence of story-based pre-shows that extend the experience of the ride movie to create an immersive experience for the guest.

The team also helped to develop the Kyz Kuu horse show, in which Kazakhstan’s national symbol, the horse, becomes the star. Lange also developed the story and set design for an indoor arena show showcasing twenty-four live performers.

Chris Lange and Creative Studio Berlin recently worked together with mycotoo on The Land of Legends’ new expansion, featuring popular IP Masha and The Bear. COVID restrictions meant that the team faced several challenges, but were able to overcome them to open the expansion in July 2020.

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Kate Heller

Kate Heller

Kate Heller is a creative professional in San José, California who is passionate about art, design, fitness and ocean conservation—and not afraid to write about any of it!

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