Client: Merlin Operations Attractions / Thorpe Park
Contract dates: November 2014 to April 2017

CDC was contracted by Merlin Operations Attractions Limited, Thorpe Park to undertake a detailed fire strategy for a new attraction within their Thorpe Park Resort theme park in Surrey.
CDC was contracted to undertake full Fire Engineering Services from inception to completion and post completion services.
This unique, complex project, designed by Derren Brown, provides a guest experience which includes interactive elements, virtual reality and scenes narrated by actors. The ride take place in a themed London Tube Train and a mock up London Underground Station.
The attraction was located in a purpose built building, replicating a warehouse from the external elevations and a floating train station internally. In addition to the attraction space, the building also incorporated pre show areas, retail space, staff control room, back of house space, maintenance facility and staff areas.
The Clients, both Derren Brown and Merlin, demanded the highest standards for design integration and safety of guests, both able bodied and disabled users.
The fire strategy was required to ensure that all guests and staff were able to enjoy the attraction  while being in a safe and secure environment, without fire safety elements being obviously visual, thus negatively affecting the desired effect of the attraction.
These challenges were successfully overcome with very close coordination with the design team, including   architects, engineers, creative teams and Derren Brown himself.
The fire strategy was focussed on solving the complex scenarios for evacuation during various operational attraction scenarios. A key focus was on successful  implementation of evacuation procedures for disabled users of the ride.
The fire strategy included extended travel distances, smoke extract design, evacuation strategies,   compartmentation, internal room layout advice, fire alarm system design, building separation, fire services access, escape stair numbers, code compliant dimensions and sizes, building fire rating and minimum protection requirements.
Close liaison with Building Control and Fire Services Officers was essential, in order for them to understand the complexity of the building and the proposed fire strategy.
Based upon the complexity of the operational scenarios, fire engineering solutions were required to allow the attraction to operate successfully and to the desired aspirations of both Merin and Derren Brown.
CDC provided full fire engineering design services, CFD modelling, construction phase support and fire risk  assessment services to the project.
Post Construction services were also provided to ensure that the fire strategy was successfully  implemented into the operations of the attraction.
The attraction is successfully and safely operating and is a unique attraction in the World of Theme Parks.


Posted on

December 3, 2020