Shanghai theme park combines architecture, technology and storytelling for spectacular light show

by Kim Megson | 11 Aug 2016
Through a magical interaction between technology, architecture and storytelling, we witness an impossible and fantastic new reality
– Jean-Christophe Canizares, ECA2

The Happy Valley theme park in Shanghai, China has opened a multimedia tower which transforms at night into the centrepiece of a dramatic 18 minute light show.

The 32m (105ft) high tower – described by developer OCT Shanghai as “a symbol of modernity and an icon of contemporary culture” – is located in a tranquil central lake, where it leans skywards at an angle.

When evening falls the tower is illuminated from within like a giant lantern and the show, called Lake of Illusions, begins.

Laser beams, videos and light effects projected onto the tower and rotating water jets shooting up from the lake. Mist, flames and pyrotechnics add further drama to the immersive show, which is soundtracked by music from eleven sources of sound placed around the park.

“Lake of Illusions was conceived to stand out in every dimension,” said Jean-Christophe Canizares, chairman of show developer ECA2. “It’s a true 360° icon that dominates its setting and intrigues the park’s visitors.

“At night, spectators will thrill to the spectacle of the tower as it seemingly grows wings, with impressive water screens and video effects weaving their magic. Artistically controlled by cutting-edge technology, the effects change and merge through time and space in every dimension: reaching higher, wider and deeper through different planes.

“Through a magical interaction between technology, architecture and storytelling, we witness an impossible and fantastic new reality.”

The permanent attraction took two years to develop. Up to 1,000 spectators can watch the evening show.

ECA2 is currently collaborating with development firm Rizhao City Construction Investment in China’s Shandong province to create a similar attraction for Rizhao’s Olympics Water Sports base.

Shanghai  Happy Valley  light show  Lake of Illusions  China  ECA2 
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August opening for new Shanghai theme park

The Happy Valley theme park in Shanghai, China has opened a multimedia tower which transforms at night into the centrepiece of a dramatic 18 minute light show. The 32m (105ft) high tower – described by developer OCT Shanghai as “a symbol of modernity and an icon of contemporary culture” – is located in a tranquil central lake, where it leans skywards at an angle. When evening falls the tower is
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Laser beams, videos and light effects create illusions around the tower / Julien Palie
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