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Model of Compost Project concept
Compost Project by Yeawon Min, Ruoyang Chen, Chinmayi Suri, and Qi Long
Student Work M.S. AUD

The Matterhorn Matter

289 Technology Seminar
2020

The Matterhorn Bobsled is a steel roller coaster named and modelled after the peak located on the border of Italy and Switzerland. This seminar aims to generate a new approach to landscaping through the creation of an architectural language that goes beyond the replica of natural environments through the lens of third nature theory.

In 1959, four years after the opening of Disneyland, Walt Disney and his Imagineers were planning the first major expansion of the theme park. Disney had in mind an eternal fantasy of building a real snowy mountain in Disneyland. He conceived the idea of a toboggan ride on the mountain with real snow but the dream was in conflict with the Southern California climate conditions. The location for this project was Holiday Hill, a SO-foot mound piled up near Fantasyland and Tomorrowland. A dirt pile that was the result of the excavation works of Sleeping Beauty Castle. The initial rubblescape was then re-programmed as a picnic area that provided views to the entire park.

Disney made the decision to bulldoze this mountain and turn it into a new ride: The Matterhorn Bobsled. A steel roller coaster named and modeled after the Alpine Peak located on the border of Italy and Switzerland. The ride is composed of two separate tracks that weave in and out of each other's paths and that are contained within a steel structure made out of 2,175 beams. The metallic structure is recovered by a plywood substructure and a metal lath that would shape and support the cement gunite that simulates the rockwork. To augment the mountain's height, the Imagineers used forced perspective techniques making the trees smaller at higher altitudes.

After visiting and analyzing the ride, students speculated on the transformation of the original Holiday Hill plot and analyzed Disney's urban planning; more specifically the attraction Matterhorn Bobsled as a case study of major land transformations during the post-war period in Los Angeles. This goal of the seminar was to generate a new approach to the construction of landscaping through the creation of an architectural language that goes beyond the replica of natural environments through the lens of third nature theory. A third nature aesthetic for a third LA Architecture.

Related Faculty
David Jimenez Iniesta
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