Little London: The City Poises for an Interactive, Scaled Model
Posted by Elizabeth Alton on Monday, December 9th, 2013
The London Eye has proven to be a major draw for visitors to London. Guests in the city will soon have another epic attraction to enjoy. Little London will offer a bird’s eye view of the city from a completely different perspective. The 65,000 square foot indoor scaled and interactive model of London’s city center is scheduled to open during the summer of 2016 at One Tower Place.
London’s tourism officials are excited about Little London’s potential. It’s expected to skyrocket to one of the city’s top tourist attractions, and bring in over 1.4 million visitors each year. Little London’s location, across from the Tower of London in one of the city’s bustling tourist districts, is sure to help.“This is an exciting concept, which will showcase the capital in all its glory and bring our great city to life for all ages. Little London has great potential to be one of London’s top visitor attractions,” said London’s Deputy Mayor for Education and Culture, Munira Mirza.
Little London has been created at 1:150 scale. But before you envision a boring city diorama that you often find in museums, think again. This model is a moving, interactive rendering of London that comes alive with millions of individual details. What’s more, the designers didn’t just want to render a static copy of London’s buildings and streets. The goal behind Little London was to help tell the City’s vast and inspiring stories.Mark Crofton, Little London’s founder, explains it best. “The Panorama is the biggest and most ambitious model city ever undertaken; we are not just building London’s architecture in fine detail, but its history and the real-life stories that make it the greatest city on Earth. Little London will be more than a visitor attraction: it will be a magical visitor center for London; it is about discovery, exploration and – above all – amazing entertainment.”How is this audacious goal being achieved? Structurally, the Panorama sits at the center of Little London. The model features millions of lights, and thousands of taxis, buses, and other moving parts. Visitors will look closely for the Beatles playing Savile Row, shoppers lining up at Harrods, and even Jack the Ripper stalking ominously through the streets. The buildings in the model will be as large as 8 feet high, and features include a watery river Thames.
The Panorama will be complemented by a series of zones that explore life in key areas of the city. Some of the planned zones that have been announced include the Underground, Royal London, and Sports. Each zone is expected to include further scaled models of relevant buildings, along with technology, games, and simulators to help draw visitors into the experience.Little London, which is expected to cost in excess of £25 million, will offer something different to the capital’s visitors. The thoughtful integration of both technology and storytelling gives this attraction the potential to stand out from other sites around the city. We’re looking forward to seeing both the final execution and how it’s received by tourists. Little London could serve as an interesting model for other areas looking for creative ways to engage visitors and tell their stories.
Images: Little London/The Berkeley Group