Disney Contemporary Resort [1974]

Welton Becket

Walt Disney’s parks and broader creative output were broadly linked by a compulsion to innovate, and his resorts profoundly attest to this. Welton Becket, an architectural innovator his own right designed the Contemporary Resort to satisfy a brief written into its name: it had to be of the time, with a look towards the future. With a bold A frame composed of thirteen identical steel trusses, apartment modules were completed offsite in a nearby location and then elevated and slotted to their designated spot. This process theoretically cut costs and construction time, but this wasn’t necessarily the case by the Resort’s completion. In theory, these modules could be craned to/from the structure when desired (or when Disney himself desired a new showcase), but this, too, proved false – burdened by logistics that meant conventional re-fitting out of rooms was the preferred arrangement going forward. Still operable today with the Resort Monorail taking guests to the various sights and worlds right from the centre of the building.

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