In 2009 the German city of Duisburg launched a big competition in order to find a new landmark for its landscaping park called Angerpark. The roller coaster-cum-pedestrian walkway “Tiger and Turtle – Magic Mountain” designed by Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth came out as a winner eclipsing several submissions.
But how does this landmark relate to amusement parks? As easy as pie: Here we are talking about an almost all accessible frozen roller coaster track that covers an area of 40 x 41 m, and features a loop reaching 20 m in height. The imposing outdoor sculpture, ceremonially inaugurated in November 2011, cost approximately EUR 2 million.
“Tiger and Turtle – Magic Mountain” is situated on a hill of 35 m in height overlooking an idyllic surburban town. Visitors who do not want to miss the incredible view of the whole surrounding region, must climb up moderately steep stairs on more or less circular stairways. Since they are rather narrow, only a maximum of 100 people may walk along the “Tiger and Turtle – Magic Mountain” at the same time. It goes without saying that the loop is not accessible. One walkable sections measures 140 m, and the other 60 m in length. Both are accessible to public, as long as the weather conditions are appropriate. Additionally, camera systems are installed in order to manage the flow of visitors more easily.All technical dates of the artwork are impressive: 349 gratings were built as stairways, the whole structure is supported by 698 poles, 349 cross girders, and 17 stanchions. The total weight of the frozen roller coaster made of galvanized steel amounts to roughly 90 tons. Moreover, the handrails of the spiraling structure are equipped with nearly 900 LED lamps that give an extra shine when it is dark outside.
The artists’ description of their project can be summarised as follows: “Tiger and Turtle” is a commentary on the region’s struggles with shifting identities and restructuralization regarding speed and stagnation of the region’s industrial production. Speed and growth are unified and permanently dislodged by the sculpture’s absurd vortices, thus leaving room for interpretation.“ However, amusement park enthusiasts enjoy this elevated walking path without philosophising – particularly as the evening view of Duisburg’s industrial plants might be literally breath-taking …