Blackpool Pleasure Beach is an amusement park located on the South Shore of Blackpool in North West England, UK. It was set by Alderman W. G. Bean and John Outhwaite over one hundred years ago as a family business. From that time it was widely developed—starting as a fairground, it became one of the most known amusement resorts. The complex can boast a lot of records, among others it was the first one that had a fully inverted coaster. 

Thinking about places like this, entertainment is the first that comes to mind but this time let’s try to look from the other perspective and get to know this place in terms of architecture and design.

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Blackpool Pleasure Beach ©Alamy

Location | Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Blackpool Pleasure Beach is located on the land of 170 000 m2 between the sea and dense city structure. Westside of parkland adjacent to Promenade which intersects with Balmoral Rid on the north and Clifton Dr on the south. On the east side, there is a train line isolated by a strip of trees, and a train stop being one of the ways to get to the park. 

For the visitors coming by car are provided car parks: South Car Park, South Beach Car Park and the biggest one on the north. The park area is fenced and has few secured entrances spread evenly on every side. 

Space and Planning 

The Casino Building is located in the northwest corner of the complex and it is the most recognizable building. It is also the first point on the park tour, where visitors can buy tickets or rest in the cafe. Entering the park, users have a free way to choose the direction of many paved paths. Presently, the park is divided into three sections: North Park, South Park, and Nickelodeon Land, but individual installations are located randomly and their use is in no violation of the order. Varied attractions include Globe Theatre, River Caves, Ice Blast, and many carousels and rides. 

Next to the play objects of the park, there is a well-developed restaurant and hotel industry, which makes Blackpool Pleasure Beach a self-sufficient complex. This UK’s park contains many high objects reaching even 60 metres. According to the information published on Wikipedia, this is the only private complex in the city that does not have to obey planning restrictions. 

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Blackpool Pleasure Beach from the Promenade©en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackpool_Pleasure_Beach
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Blackpool Pleasure Beach from South Beach ©en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackpool_Pleasure_Beach

Modernist Design in Blackpool Pleasure Beach, UK

In 1931 the director of Blackpool Pleasure Beach got inspired by the modernist architecture of Philadelphia and with the help of architect Joseph Emberton, he transformed the park into this style. The new Casino Building is divided into three functional zones: service, office, and recreational. Designed on the plan of a circle, it is characterized by wide horizontal stripes filled with white plaster and glass. 

The element that focuses attention the most is a spiral staircase representing Art Deco style. By entwining the main shaft, it forms an amazing slender, white tower. This circular building is based on a concrete platform, its columns, walls, and floors are made of reinforced concrete. Casino Building designed by Emberton has been repeatedly compared to De la Warr Pavilion designed in the international and Art Deco style and similarly built in the 1930s. 

The Emberton architecture had a huge impact on today’s appearance of Blackpool Pleasure Beach which is visible not only on buildings. Even kiosks of old rides were renovated into modern style.  

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Blackpool Pleasure Beach ©twitter.com/seasideferry/status/1243913220584361984
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Art Deco, The De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill on Sea©www.ephotozine.com/photo/art-deco–the-de-la-warr-pavilion-bexhill-on-sea-56146745

Architecture of Rides

Blackpool Pleasure Beach from the beginning has been filled with various attractions many of which have become record-breaking. This park offers wooden and steel coasters, from the early twentieth century and brand new. The oldest installation is Sir Hiram Maxim’s Captive Flying Machine, which was opened in 1904. The Big One when opened in 1994 was the world’s steepest and tallest roller coaster, today it is Blackpool Beach’s tallest roller coaster. The Icon from 2015 is the newest one. 

Being fully suspended above the water offers an unforgettable experience. The more or less intentional effect is created in the interactions that arise between the park objects. Steel tubes of rides bent in sinusoidal patterns and intertwining with each other create beautiful sculptures.

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Icon – amazing steel connections©snapwidget.com/v/sw/1771501788274780344_5890566768

Blackpool Pleasure Beach is a complex that connects unique architecture, technology and pleasure. Park objects cover the needs of every age group, there are queues both for the brave adults and for children. Available attractions are located close to each other, some of them are intertwined, which creates an interesting design. 

Due to the Park’s beginnings as a small funfair built on dunes, it has to come a long way to become a popular Theme Park.  Over the years, the facility of Blackpool Pleasure Beach has developed its style and history and became a must-see point on UK’s tourist lists.

References

Alamy. [Photograph]. Available at:  https://www.thesun.ie/travel/4020335/blackpool-pleasure-beach-is-giving-emergency-services-staff-free-entry-this-weekend/ [Accessed: 6 June 2021].

Blackpool Pleasure Beach from the Promenade [Photograph]. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackpool_Pleasure_Beach [Accessed: 6 June 2021].

Blackpool Pleasure Beach from South Beach [Photograph]. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackpool_Pleasure_Beach [Accessed: 6 June 2021].

[Photograph]. Available at: https://twitter.com/seasideferry/status/1243913220584361984 [Accessed: 6 June 2021].

mike9005. Art Deco, The De La Warr Pavilion Bexhill on Sea [Photograph]. Available at: https://www.ephotozine.com/photo/art-deco–the-de-la-warr-pavilion-bexhill-on-sea-56146745 [Accessed: 6 June 2021].

[Photograph]. Available at:  https://snapwidget.com/v/sw/1771501788274780344_5890566768 [Accessed: 6 June 2021].

Author

An architect from Poland who was educated also in Finland. Being at the beginning of her career she looks for a balance between architecture and nature. Despite the interest in the history of architecture she search for modern design solutions.

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