UNstudio envision nippon moon giant observation wheel, japan
UNstudio envision nippon moon giant observation wheel, japan UNstudio envision nippon moon giant observation wheel, japan
sep 02, 2013

UNstudio envision nippon moon giant observation wheel, japan

UNstudio envision nippon moon giant observation wheel, japan
all images courtesy of UNStudio




international practice UNstudio was commissioned by ferris wheel investment to develop a giant observation wheel in japan, an amusement structure that is widely popular as a form of entertainment for the island nation. ‘nippon moon’ has been envisioned to differ from existing ones of its kind with a comprehensive interactive system, developed in partnership with experientia who assisted in providing research on how behaviour could influence user’s interaction with the architectural and digital infrastructure.


one’s all-encompassing experience is largely influenced by an accompanying augmented reality app which focuses on three main areas: discovery, the ride and the return. upon reservation, one must choose the type of virtual journey they wish to take, as each single or double-storey capsule has a different theme relating to history, culture, or the environment. from the moment you buy your ticket, the interaction begins. the digital AR platform allows users to see how many seconds are left until their departure. upon arrival, participants have the freedom to view the welcome area and facilities in ‘active queuing’, instead of waiting in a traditional line for their turn. upon embarking, the app which works for smartphones and tablets also functions intuitively with each of the pod’s transparent technological skin, becoming a communication device between cars. this kind of information tailors a one-of-a-kind experience, enhancing one’s perception of their chosen topic. one’s senses are further heightened through the integration of augmented animations and sounds. afterward pictures taken by visitors are posted to the hall of fame in the lobby, becoming a continuous part of the journey after disembarking. thus, the design creates an active learning environment for riders with the hope to create a significant memory and impact on japanese culture. the concept of observation wheels is not new, but UNstudio’s concept combines design, with engineering to create a fully integrated virtual world.




UNstudio worked with arup and mitsubishi heavy industries to engineer the giant observation wheel



augmented reality app compares scale of nippon moon giant observation wheel to icons like godzilla



electronic tickets countdown to the time of your ride



elevation of capsule



rendering of capsules on the observation wheel. each encompasses a different theme



plans and sections of pod



overall section reveals ground level program


project info:

client: ferris wheel investment co.,ltd

location: japan
building surface: terminal and platform 7.200m2
building volume: terminal and platform 90.000m3
capsules: 32
building site: 18.000m2
programme: giant observation wheel
status: design

UNstudio: ben van berkel, gerard loozekoot with frans van vuure, filippo lodi and harlen miller, jan kokol, wendy van der knijff, todd ebeltoft, tina kortmann, patrik noome, jeroen den hertog, iain jamieson


engineer: arup tokyo + melbourne
interactive design: experientia, italy
animation: submarine, amsterdam
visualisation: mir

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