Top 10 Themed Construction Projects Around the World

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Over the past few months, we’ve covered a variety of topics relating to the themed and specialty construction industry. Now it’s time to take a look at the top 10 themed construction projects around the world.

This list highlights specialty projects that go above and beyond traditional construction projects. From rustic wilderness lodges to erupting volcanoes, each themed environment captures the imagination and leaves a lifelong impression. It’s important to remember that this is no accident. Highly skilled artisans and designers with an acute level of artistic ability and a disciplined approach to engineering and construction created these rockwork, themed construction and specialty water feature projects around the globe.

Water feature Design

1. Huntington Library Chinese Garden, Pasadena, California

An exotic habitat, water features and rockwork unite to create harmony and balance in these lush gardens designed to enrich the mind and spirit. Themed construction artisans paid deep respect to the site’s natural beauty when building its lakes and streams. When creating the lake, they carefully placed rock imported from China’s Lake Tai around the water’s edge to evoke the craggy mountains of a Chinese landscape painting. As part of their work, they also completed the water features’ recirculation and biological systems to support the garden’s lush aquatic plant life.

Construction Company

2. Wilderness Lodge, Orlando, Florida

In Orlando, where you could spend weeks visiting different theme parks, the Pacific Northwest comes to life at Wilderness Lodge. This resort hotel was inspired by American Northwest National Park lodges from the turn of the 20th century. In the lodge, specialty construction practitioners designed and crafted an 82-foot-high fireplace with layers of earth-toned artificial rock that replicates all 128 major supergroups of geology in the Grand Canyon. As part of the hotel construction, they also constructed sparkling streams and waterfalls, Yosemite style mineral color pools and a pool and spa. They even crafted a geyser, fashioned after Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful, which shoots water and live steam 120 feet in the air.

Exotic Pool Construction

3. Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Another exotic themed environment is the Sunway Resort, where guests are destined for luxury and enchantment. Rockwork features at the swimming pool make it much more than just a place to swim and sun. An arching rock bridge spans the pool and invites guests to explore the space above and on both sides of the water, while a grotto attracts guests to a hidden vista in the lagoon below. A team of highly skilled artisans designed and constructed the artificial rockwork for the bridge and a 40-foot-high stone feature in the grotto.

Themed Enviornment

4. Central Florida Water Ride, Orlando, Florida

Visiting a waterpark on a hot summer day can be a treat for anyone, no matter how old they are. In Orlando, going to a water park became that much cooler when a team of construction designers and builders enhanced the themed water park by replicating the snow-capped mountains of the Swiss Alps. The artificial rocks rise nearly 250 feet from the pools in this water park. The slides, flumes, lazy rivers and a wave pool are surrounded by 200,000 square feet of artificial rockwork crafted and installed by specialty construction artisans. It’s a great place to cool off while surrounded by a snowy mountain scene in Central Florida.

Themed habitat

5. California Amusement, Anaheim, California

A mystic forest and enchanted trail come to life with ancient bones and hidden creatures at one of California’s most celebrated amusement parks. Realistic nature-sized artificial trees, fallen logs, a rock climbing wall and even sleeping bears create an inviting play area at this popular theme park attraction. There’s even an artificial redwood tree so large you can walk through it. When it’s time to play hide and seek, kids head to the hollow log or another secret hideaway. Theme park construction artisans hand-carved these iconic rockwork elements to create this park-like setting that appeals to the young and young at heart.

Water Fountain Resort Construction

6. The Palace of the Lost City at Sun City, Johannesburg, South Africa

Everything is larger than life at this fairytale African palace, one of the largest resorts in the world. The Palace of the Lost City has a unique African rhythm all of its own. A team of skilled commercial construction artisans designed and constructed 200,000 square feet of artificial rockwork, 12 formal fountains, spas, a wave pool and numerous other pools throughout the sprawling property. Inspired by Africa’s rugged bushveld, expert craftsman also carved large iconic sculptural pieces, such as lions and monkeys, in the face of the rockwork.

Exotic Themed Design

7. Korean Folk Village, Suwon, South Korea

Spectators experience a heart-pounding show when the volcano erupts at Korean Folk Village, home to collections of Korean cultural artifacts. Artisans designed and crafted an 80-foot volcano that bursts every hour with a seven-minute sequence of rolling thunder, pyrotechnics, steam, waterfalls and light. Behind the scenes, steam generators create a fantastic display of fog and mist, waterfalls colored with orange lights mimic the lava, and piped-in gas fuels the fire. Even though it’s an illusion, that doesn’t make it any less exciting to see!

Construction Water features

8. St. Regis Monarch Beach, Dana Point, California

Historic Tuscany comes to modern-day California at St. Regis Monarch Beach, where artisans revived an ancient art form in the old world Romanesque style. A team of themed construction practitioners constructed six formal fountains that add to the resort’s air of sophistication. The fountains are featured throughout, from the grand porte cochère to the elegant promenade, where water flows from a striking hand-carved stone fountain. This fountain is a tribute to a lost art form made popular by classic Italian stone carvers.

Themed Pirate Show

9. Treasure Island Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

Mind your booty mates! You can’t have a top ten list of themed construction projects without including the pirate show at Treasure Island. This extravagant creation lures passersby into a world of danger and mystery. Artisans hand-carved the pirate village facades and a frighteningly creepy skull reef in the attraction’s lagoon. Designs from Lifescapes International played a starring role in the water feature, artificial rockwork and tropical surroundings. When the classic Las Vegas show begins, the village comes to life with cannon fire, burning buildings and a firefight between a pirate vessel and British frigate. The pirates sink the frigate and the British jump ship, leaving the treasures for the pirates to plunder. Aaaaarrrgggghhh!

Water Pool Feature Deisgn

10. Private Estate, La Jolla, California

The owners of this private estate tapped a highly experienced design/build team when they wanted to enhance their landscape design with a pool and rockwork feature. Before building the project, the design team crafted a 15-foot by 6-foot scale model of the pool and artificial rockwork. While building the features, expert artisans referred to the scale model to ensure they captured the intent of the design team and owner. They also constructed a heated and air-conditioned cave for the family’s Vietnamese potbelly pig. The rock and water project not only provides an inviting retreat, but also showcases the beauty of the home.

If you’re seeking unique environment, let Outside the Lines make the mundane disappear with its one-of-a-kind rock, water and themed features.

The team at OTL has created some of the most imaginative and mind-bending themed environments in the industry. They created water features that dance to the music of Frank Sinatra and re-created the snow-capped mountains of the Swiss Alps. Their projects are restricted only by your imagination.

If you would like to work with a team of highly skilled artisans and technicians who have revolutionized themed environments around the world, please contact OTL at: (714) 637-4747 or email us at