19 December 2013

Marine Worlds Carousel to receive Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement from the Themed Entertainment Association

Marine Worlds Carousel. Click for more photos
Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement - Unique Art Installation:
Marine Worlds Carousel, Les Machines de I’île, Nantes, France

Located on an island of the Loire River in Nantes, in an abandoned shipyard warehouse, one is delighted to find "Les Machines de l'ïle." A true experimental laboratory created by two artists, François Delarozière and Pierre Orefice, it offers a fantasy world that mixes the imagination of Jules Verne with the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci. An incredible collection of mechanical wonders such as the Great Elephant, which is a 50-passenger, walking mechanical elephant and the magnificent flying Heron tree, the pair have now created a stunning new addition: The Marine Worlds Carousel.

Representing Marine Worlds Carousel
at the 2014 TEA Summit
on Thea Case Studies Day, April 4:

Director of the Machines de l’île

In the course of many adventures in art, theater and politics, he meets François Delarozière in Royal de Luxe. 20 years of collaborations and friendship resulted in the Machines de l’Île project. Since 2007, Pierre Orefice is Director of the Machines exploitation and the Nefs, Nantes’ former shipyards warehouses. As co-author of the Machines with François, he is working on the opening of the Heron Tree in 2019, the next ‘machine’ after the Carousel.

François Delarozière, Artistic Director
A graduate of the Marseille Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Delarozière explores theatre from every angle, especially its most monumental forms. As artistic director of the La Machine company, he developed projects in the realm of street shows as well as urban planning. He worked with Patrick Bouchain on a joint project for the architectural urban redevelopment of The Channel, the French national theatre of Calais. He teaches stage design at the Nantes Ecole Nationale Supérieur d’Architecture.
This giant, three-tiered carousel, 25m high and 22m in diameter, is incredible machinery that reawakens fairground art. In this fascinating structure dedicated to the three levels of the sea, guests will discover delightful, animated mechanical sculptures in all forms of sea life. From the giant crab and reverse propulsion squid of the seabed, the lantern fish and manta ray of the ocean depth to the jellyfish, flying fish and sailing ships on the surface of the 24 mechanical waves.

Beautiful sculptures of metal and steel, these sea creatures stand on their own as pieces of art. But, they go one step further than that! Guests can board the carousel and, seated inside, operate them to move their appendages, such as fins, tails and tentacles.


  • Diameter 22m
  • Height 25m
  • Number of elements 35
  • Number of seats 85
  • Max capacity 300 guests
The unique quality of the design, the incredible and audacious nature and scale of what would otherwise be a simple carousel, its interactive elements, and most of all its sculptural sophistication and artistic vision continued to grab the attention and make a strong impression on the entire Thea Awards nominating committee. 

About the Thea Awards
The Thea Awards, sponsored by Economics at AECOM, were created by the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) to help realize a key mission of the association: bringing recognition to achievement, talent and personal excellence within the themed entertainment industry. From a modest beginning in 1994, the Thea Awards have become internationally recognized as a symbol of excellence. The public is welcome to attend the black-tie 20th Annual Thea Awards Gala, which will be held April 5, 2014 at the Disneyland Hotel, Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, Calif. USA