Ray Hole Architects is celebrating a bumper season as Strategic Advisor, Master Planner and Architect on three significant UK attractions: Dreamland Margate, Kidzania London and Port Lympne.
The award-winning firm was brought in by Dreamland Margate to turn a disparate selection of 18 authentic rides from the 1920’s to the present day into a cohesive visitor experience. All rides, including the park’s iconic Scenic Railway – a Grade 2* listed wooden coaster – have been entirely rebuilt to modern standards.
“Dreamland Margate has proved to be a Phoenix rising literally from the ashes, ” comments the architecture practice's founder Ray Hole.
Kidzania London, encompassing over 8, 000m2 of attractions, required an entirely new building for its site atop Westfield Mall in West London.
Hole explains: “It incorporates many of the well-known children's role-play environments and icons (for example – the real plane fuselage that flies over the queue-line) but also a number of unique "location hinting" activities as well.”
At Port Lympne, the company was asked to create new holiday apartments to compliment the estate’s existing ‘glamping’ concepts. The resulting elevated pavilions look over the safari park towards the English Channel. According to Hole, they provide "a more Hollywood Hills experience, harking back to the heady days of the Sassoon society set when Chaplin and Churchill would visit the House."
Ray Hole Architects is also currently implementing the initial environments and infrastructure that will form the future master plan for ZSL London Zoo. The Asiatic Lion Experience is the most ambitious project ZSL has undertaken to date and comprises large and varied landscaped environments for both Lions and Primates including an Indian village, Temple and Fort ruin, the Gir Forest and a Girnar Hills trail.
Aside from these projects, the practice continues with its retained role on London Paramount with responsibility for the design development of the Leisure Core.
“It’s the icing on the cake, ” says Hole.