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Primordial, the newest ride at Lagoon Amusement Park, is a huge hit. This roller coaster ride, which debuted in September 2023, has already won over the hearts of the theme park’s visitors. In fact, it’s adored so much that USA Today’s panel of experts named it 2024’s best new theme park attraction. This award gives Lagoon national recognition and serious bragging rights over other theme parks in the country, such as Disneyland and Universal.

Those who have experienced this jaw-dropping ride might be curious about how theme park architects made it. At Think Architecture, our Salt Lake City architects know a thing or two about what it takes to create such an incredible ride because we were involved in the process. In this article, we’ll discuss how we helped design Primordial and other unique aspects involved in theme park architecture.

Construction worker during build phase at Primordial Lagoon

Integrating Architectural Innovation: Redefining the Theme Park Experience

Today’s theme park rides go far beyond traditional roller coasters. Immersive experiences incorporating cutting-edge technology are quickly becoming the norm, paving the way for incredible rides. At first glance, park attendees see the large mountain that houses the ride, spanning over 80,000 square feet. This ominous mountain towers over attendees, cloaking the ride in mystery and beckoning riders inside to experience the ride. The mountain is central to the ride experience as riders weave in and out during their journey.

Designing buildings for a roller coaster presents unique challenges for a theme park architect. Designers must be able to balance a ride’s structural needs while creating an entertaining experience. The building must be fitting for the theme park while housing all the support beams and electrical equipment needed. Theme park designers must also plan for other ride elements, including physics, like potential energy and kinetic energy. Creating the building also poses the unique opportunity of adding unique elements, such as screens and 3D technology, that riders couldn’t experience outside.

Green roller coaster track curves inside building designed by Think Architecture at Primordial Lagoon

Crafting Immersive Environments: The Art of Theme Park Architecture

Every new roller coaster that a theme park adds offers the chance to influence the atmosphere and feel of the park. Theme park architecture crafts the entire experience for each attendee, with designers aiming to find a unique balance between entertainment, art, and function. Among all the rides is the central element of architecture.

With its whimsical design, Primordial adds an element of mystery at the northern end of this family-owned theme park. Working with Lagoon and Lagoon’s appointed ride theme designers, Think Architecture transformed the ride-loading building and queen’s lair into immersive worlds that enhance the overall guest experience.

Inside Framing during construction at Primordial at Lagoon, designed by Think Architecture

Balancing Aesthetics with Functionality: The Architect’s Dilemma

Many modern theme park rides tell a story, with designers constantly looking for ways to improve the stories they tell through design. Attractions allow riders to transport visitors to a different realm where reality fades and fantasy begins. Each ride in a theme park must walk the thin line between aesthetics and functionality, with both elements equally crucial to the ride’s success. Amusement park projects are often more challenging for designers because of their need to be out-of-this-world and surreal. The team at Think Architecture excels at finding this sweet spot in design.

construction worker handles plywood outside Primordial rollercoaster building at Lagoon

Collaborative Design: Navigating the Complexities of Theme Park Architecture

It takes a team to create an incredible ride like Primordial. Architects, engineers, and theme park designers often collaborate on many elements. For example, Think Architecture created many of the architectural aspects of the ride, such as the previously mentioned queen’s lair and ride-loading building. We also designed the looker area, market, and some of the internal walls of the mountain. Inside, tech designers worked to create interactive displays and technology that leave riders with a jaw-dropping experience. Like many other commercial architecture projects, Primordial succeeds because of collaboration with amusement park engineers and other professionals.

Think Architecture: Excelling at Theme Park Design

Our multi-faceted architecture design firm has excelled at many projects throughout the years, and we are pleased to add Primordial to the list. Our commercial architects are skilled at creating buildings of every use, including where people live, eat, work, and play. Are you interested in hiring us for a project? See our other projects or contact us today!