When you think of roller coasters, you think of theme parks. You don't think of roller coasters surrounding a decommissioned power station, and definitely not with scaffolds that double as pedestrian walks. As part of the ArchTriumph Museum of Architecture competition, French design studio Atelier Zündel Cristea (AZC) proposed a plan to transform London's old Battersea Power Station into a fun museum dedicated to architecture with a roller coaster.
AZC is no stranger to thought-provoking designs. The design studio previously proposed putting a trampoline bridge on the Seine River in Paris. Obviously, that would have been a very, very bad idea. But it was playful, nonetheless. AZC's proposed roller coaster design for London would have cost 100 million Euros, which is about 130 million dollars. Here's the thinking behind AZC's roller coaster plans:
The development of culture is one of the highest possible human ideals. Therefore, in every museum it is not the exhibition of works that has meaning, but the presence of visitors and their wandering through and exposure to displays of works that stimulate meaning. Our project puts the power station on centre stage, the structure itself enhancing the site through its impressive scale, its architecture, and its unique brick material. Our created pathway links together a number of spaces for discovery: the square in front of the museum, clearings, footpaths outside and above and inside, footpaths traversing courtyards and exhibition rooms. The angles and perspectives created by the rail’s pathway, through the movement within and outside of the structure, place visitors in a position where they can perceive simultaneously the container and its contents, the work and nature. They come to participate in several simultaneous experiences: enjoying the displayed works, being moved by the beauty of the structure and the city: river, park, buildings.
Although it took home first place in the ArchTriumph competition, the AZC's roller coaster design won't actually be built. Instead, the Battersea Power Station site will be redeveloped as apartment complexes and office space, which is disappointing, but probably more realistic and practical than a roller coaster.