Immersion is Key When Bringing Destinations to Life

Posted in Insights -

Today’s commercial property owners understand the importance of creating world-class experiences within their properties. They recognize that today’s consumers, tenants, and decision-makers value environments that transport them – even if just for a few moments – to a physical place of entertainment, joy, relaxation, and wonder.

As owners seek to elevate their real estate, there is a growing focus on the creation of immersive environments. From retail centers and resorts to public attractions and office parks, immersion has truly become the key to bringing destinations to life.

At OTL, we understand that water features and theming are typically at the heart of these transformations.

For example, the dramatic 90-foot wide, 45-foot tall waterfall we designed at Haesley Nine Bridges Golf Course in Seoul, Korea enthralls golfers with its majestic cascade.  The design elements we integrated into the project create an immersive experience that feels like a natural environment.

Our team coined a trademark phrase for this concept – Geo-Believability® – which describes the design and construction of geologically accurate rockwork and environments based upon a foundation of research, making them appear as though created by Mother Nature herself.

By looking at each project holistically, we are able to design and/or construct features that immerse users in movement, sound, sights, and in many cases, virtually transport them to a new world.

Another strong example of our immersive work is the interactive water feature we constructed as the centerpiece of San Diego’s Waterfront Park.  Here, children and families twirl with delight as water leaps as high as 14 feet in the air, creating an urban avenue of water play.

Beyond water and rockwork, the features our team builds for commercial property owners throughout the globe often integrate other elements such as fire, fog, lighting, and music, all of which culminate in a thrilling immersive experience.

A visit to Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida, for example, will likely be heightened by the 11-story, 100-foot tall statue of Pegasus the winged horse doing battle with a fire-breathing dragon amid a series of powerful musical water shows. OTL designed and built water, lighting, and fire elements of this feature to enchant audiences, transporting them to a world of mythical splendor.

In each of these examples, property owners are using water features to intrigue, excite, delight, or relax their visitors.  By investing in immersive environments, they are also reaping the benefits of repeat visitors and longer lengths of stay.

In retail, shoppers linger near fountains, simultaneously ticking up sales as they spend more time near restaurants and retailers. Owners of theme parks, zoos, and aquariums with immersive offerings benefit from increased visitor numbers and large groups that return to experience the wonder of the environment again and again. And owners of office and medical properties benefit from happier, more engaged tenants and calm, peaceful patients.

As the art of delivering destinations continues to evolve, immersive environments and water features will continue to play a major role in the commercial real estate industry at large.