As tall as a house, The Magical Menagerie was also the world’s largest carousel.

Each mechanical creature could be operated by a rider. A custom-built work of art, it took the imagination of nearly 50 constructors, artists, engineers and wood carvers, locksmiths, specialists and set designers to create.

This was the third time that Artichoke had collaborated with the extraordinary artist-come-engineer François Delarozière and his company La Machine. Delarozière designed the elephant for Royal de Luxe’s The Sultan’s Elephant in 2006, and the astonishing spider in Liverpool in 2008.

Originally known as Le Manège Carré Sénart in France, this interactive artwork was first commissioned by the new town of Sénart, just outside Paris.

Artichoke worked with partners Sky Arts to present The Magical Menagerie as one of the centrepieces of the new IF: Milton Keynes International Festival. Produced by leading UK music venue, The Stables in association with Milton Keynes Gallery. 

The Magical Menagerie, La Machine, produced by Artichoke as part of IF Milton Keynes 2010. Photo by Matthew Andrews

The Magical Menagerie Statistics

  • Weight

    40 tonnes

  • Size of team to build carousel

    11 French Technicians, 3 British Riggers

  • Carousel Riders

    8,000

  • Time to construct carousel

    3 weeks

  • Height

    15m

  • Carousel Spectators

    30,000

  • Surface Area

    300m squared

  • Number of creatures

    49

  • Number of articulated trucks needed to deliver carousel

    9


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