Beyond the Waterfall

A fantastical journey to a mythical land with mermen mixologists - Westfield Shepherds Bush, London, December 2016

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BEYOND THE WATERFALL, Westfield Shepherds Bush, December 2016

For Christmas 2016, Bompas & Parr transformed part of Westfield London by creating the ultimate grotto for grown-ups. Beyond the Waterfall took 4000 shoppers on a fantastical journey across an undersea lagoon to a mythical land, culminating in a cocktail bar staffed by mermen. Set deep in the heart of Westfield London's luxury precinct, The Village, the journey evoked the emotions and joy of the holiday season while creating a feeling of unbridled escapism woven from a mix of mythology, fairytales and science fiction.

The immersive experience mixed inspiration from fairy tales, boys’ own adventures and science fiction and were designed to evoke the emotions and joy of the season – drawing together friends and family with a good helping of nostalgia – while creating a feeling of unbridled escapism from the inevitable stresses and pressures of the holiday season.

The installation was one of Bompas & Parr’s most ambitious projects to date, uniting disciplines including structural engineers, mining consultants and theatrical prop-makers to transport thousands of Westfield London’s visitors into another dimension. Inspired by the narratives belonging to the most majestic mermen in literature, including the prophetic sea-god Glaucus, the cocktail bar at the heart of the experience meant this grown-up treat could rival the seasonal experiences aimed at children.

Photography by Marcus Peel and Kitty Wheeler Shaw. Poster image by Addie Chinn.