This captivating environment features a Gothic-style cathedral, cobblestone streets, pastoral villas, picture-perfect gardens and fountains, and other meticulously crafted details that appeal to guests of all ages. It is a must-see destination unlike anything else in the world.
Falcon’s Treehouse master planned the French village, its seven distinct zones, designed for optimal guest flow, include retail shops, fine dining, live entertainment, lodging, and more.
Bà Nà Hills was in operation at the time Falcon’s was brought on board. The cable car system, a castle-themed family entertainment center, and a small hotel were in place, but the full potential of Bà Nà Hills as a world-class themed resort destination was far from realized.
Sun Group, the company that owns the Bà Nà Hills, chose Falcon’s and its team of highly experienced designers and storytellers because they knew the themed entertainment company could deliver a magical narrative leading to an immersive, dynamic, and memorable guest experience.
Falcon’s was given a great deal of creative freedom within the main task of transporting visitors back to medieval times and creating a setting rooted in historical fact, all while providing amazing guest experiences that support the story.
Falcon’s pitched three different concepts to Sun Group, each one infused with rich details. This gave us the clay we needed to firmly mold any of the stories. The storyline that “won” is based on a historical relationship between France and Vietnam. Our exhaustive research turned up a friendship between Vietnam’s Emperor Gia Long and a humble missionary from Aisne, France named Pigneau de Behaine. After arriving in Vietnam in 1777, de Behaine assisted the new Emperor, Gia Long, in gaining local support of the French. Because of this, his missionary activities were tolerated by the Nguyễn authorities. He never forgot his homeland and often talked with the Emperor about how much he missed his country. He even showed him his childhood sketches of French villages.
This is where Falcon’s picks up the story. Gia Long held on to Pigneau’s sketchbook and began constructing a medieval French Village at Bà Nà to honor his friend, who passed away in 1799. He wanted each street to be an idealized architectural recreation of a town or village depicted in Pigneau’s sketchbook. He called it Bà Nà Hills French Village.
The Falcon’s design team worked on master planning the massive 45,000 square meters program that would accommodate hotel rooms, shops, restaurants, bars, guest amenities, entertainment, cultural attractions, transportation, special events, utilities, and back-of-house facilities. As any French villager knows, you start with a square and, in that square, you build a church. In this case, the standalone church was designed to host lavish weddings and showcase Pigneau de Behaine’s collection of sketches and cultural artifacts.
At the same time the master plan was taking shape, writers and illustrators began to create elaborate concept visuals to help communicate the overall creative vision and guest experience to the Sun Group team. Street scenes, restaurant interiors, quaint retail boutiques, fountains, landscape treatments, and architectural facades were depicted to represent the many different regions of France. Each illustration was hand-drawn and painted in order to lend visual clarity to the many intricate details and special venues planned by the Falcon’s team.
This design effort led to the creation of textured 3D models for all interior and exterior spaces. Color boards for in-field art direction, architectural signage, and cost estimates were created as aerial renderings began to take shape to visualize the entire scope of the project. Each thematic zone underwent a series of scenic design revisions to ensure that it took on an individual personality and set it apart from other zones.
Today, as uninitiated visitors step out of the cable car and into the surreal world of Pigneau de Behaine’s France, they likely assume that the magnificent complex, bustling with activity, has been here for hundreds of years. As they enjoy all the treats and luxuries that the village provides, they learn the historical facts of the extraordinary friendship of the two men and are swept away in both the story and the essence of what it represents.
Senior Design Director
Kenn has a long and storied history of providing creative services for some of the world’s top theme parks and industry players, including Disney, Universal, and Herschend.
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