Everything about the design of the new SeaGlass Carousel in New York's Battery Park is inspired by the underwater world. The 2,575-square-foot stainless steel and glass structure, designed by New York's WXY Architecture + Urban Design, is shaped like a nautilus shell; indoors, carousel riders hop into massive fish designed by George Tsypin Opera Factory. Sited in the new Tiffany & Co. Foundation Woodland Gardens by designer Piet Oudolf, the theme is a throwback to the New York Aquarium, which operated at the Battery from 1896 to 1941. Technical Artistry New York designed the lighting for the space, which includes LEDs inside the fish as well as light projectors on a custom helical light ring. The ride's music, sponsored by SiriusXM, is a mix of original and remixed tracks.
WXY Architecture + Urban Design describes the experience on its website: "The spiraling structure is constructed with stainless steel and glass, forming a shell whose interior provides a white screen for the Carousel's underwater projections. Using the paradigm of the magic lantern, the Smart Glass changes from clear to opaque as the ride begins, dimming the space to capture the experience of diving under water. As the carousel spins, the interior digital projections cast moving images on the building’s shell, animating the voyage."
Based upon online videos and reviews, it sure seems like fun. David Dunlap raved about the ride in The New York Times: "This may sound like sensory overload, but a 63-year-old reporter found the experience enthralling. (Just to be sure, I tried SeaGlass a half-dozen times one evening last week before I was finally talked off the ride by adult supervisors.)"
Architect: WXY Architecture + Urban Design
Production Designer: George Tsypin Opera Factory
General Contractor: Pavarini McGovern
Ride and Pavilion Fabricator: Show Canada
Graphic Design: Doyle Partners
Glass Engineering: Front
Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing, and Fire Protection Engineers: BuroHappold Engineering
Civil and Ride Engineers: McLaren Engineering Group
Landscape Architect: Starr Whitehouse
Landscape Designer: Piet Oudolf
Audio Design: Acme Professional / Solotech
Lighting Designer: Technical Artistry New York
Theatrical Electrical Contractor: Quantum Electric
Base Building Electrical Contractor: Arco Electric
Monolithic Curved Glass: Cristacurva
Construction Administration: The LiRo Group
For more information and images of work by WXY Architecture + Urban Design, visit ARCHITECT's Project Gallery.