The first steps

The phases for a whole new project

Together we usually work in 5 phases:

  1. Information and Documentation
  2. Concept Design
  3. Developed, Detailed and Technical Design
  4. Construction
  5. Operations

In phase one I would gather all information and translate that into a masterplan, make preliminary designs, do necessary financial calculations, and a construction/ delivery schedule. The second and third phase are all about desiging the area in such a way that we can start construction after that.

Getting started

After a first meeting we can already start with the strategy and masterplanning. To do so we do a brainstorm session with your team to figure what you want, what I can help with, when and with what budget. This entire process usually takes a few weeks and might need follow-up discussions on location or via phone or skype, depending on scale of the project. We work fast. After the first process you already have a detailed handbook and complete masterplan of your project.

First phase

The first phase is divided into 2 steps:

  • Project Handbook and Strategy
  • Masterplan and Layout

In the handbook we write down all wishes and demands, including financial issues. In the Masterplan we figure out how to do this. Only after these two phases we can go into actual design and later in construction. The first phase usually takes a few weeks.

Initiation Team

At the beginning of every project, meetings will have at the table:

  • 2013-09-24 16.41.33Client
  • Client’s team
  • Financer(s)
  • Erik Visser
  • Rianfil teammembers (Depending on scope of work…)
  • Other stakeholders

At the beginning we usually don’t yet talk with suppliers or constructors, unless they are important stakeholders. Also we strongly suggest to hold any preparations or even construction until we have completed the first steps.

Project Handbook and Strategy

The handbook is like an encyclopedia of the project with all factual details. In the Strategy Document we figure out a plan of how to work with these facts. These two documents form the base for the masterplan.

The first step is finding out 3 important things:

  • What
  • When
  • Budget


What do you/we want, and what do you absolutely not want to be there?

Are there any restrictions for height, size, noise…..

What do the people want? What are they willing to spend time and money on?


When must it be ready?

Is it part of a bigger plan such as a resort and if so must we plan with or around other construction?

Are there any time restrictions? How long does it take to receive all governmental papers such as construction permits?


What is the budget? Is it available all at once, or will it be in steps?

For determining budget we can do a feasibility study and Market Analysis.

How much return on investment / Profits.


Balance between attractions, entertainment, food, shops, services…


I strongly believe that what can be done locally should be developed and constructed by local experts and craftsmen. Many also have preferations for and some have existing contracts with certain providers and tenders. Of course we will do our best to keep all involved parties pleased with the development.


The endresult is a handbook with all details about subjects such as expectations, constraints, environmental issues, regulations, permits, promotions, milestones….. Dozen of subjects will be worked out as detailed as possible. We also check if and how the project can be feasable.


When we know exactly what we want, we translate this into a basic plan of attack. This is the basis for the masterplan in which we work out the complete strategy.


It is only at this stage that we determine who we want in the development team, which vendors we will do business with, who will do designing,… Depending on size, budget, difficulty and other subjects we can decide to have the theme park design being done a specialist company. But we can also devide this into parts being designed locally, parts being designed by hired experts, and overal layout and/or masterplanning done by one of the known companies capable of doing this.

Masterplanning and Layout

aww_map2At the end of the first phase we know what we can develop and deliver locally. Technical design of buildings, a plan for electricy, plumbing, interiors for restaurants and shops and small attractions such as a maze, mini golf and karting can obviously completely be done locally. But you will be surprised by how much of the theming and how much even of the more complex rides can be done (and should be done) by local experts. They just need expert guidance. We know how much budget we have and how much time there is for any phase in the development. Especially for the locals you need the handbook and masterplan first. So the masterplan will be created next. Not only do we know after this what and when we want it, but also who will design it, who will construct it and who manages this process.


The masterplanning document is something like a very detailed business plan. It focusses on financials, time schedule, permits, insurances, all attractions, theming, deliveries… This is the plan that gets the project done.


The land that will be developed is already photographed, measured and worked out in a digital (3D) layout on which all attractions, retail, services and technicals will be developed. We determine sizes and locations. We figure out how much seats are needed in restaurants, how much toilets we need, how large the entrance and exit has to be for proper crowd management during opening and closing, check if evacuation demands and fire prevention is according to permits…. We end up with a detailed map of the park or resort.


During initialisation the designs are very limited and no construction has been started. Even though it could, no foundations will have been laid. We work this way based on the experience of dozens of projects. One step at a time. If done properly, and if the time and resources are given to work out a perfect masterplan, these efforts will result in less loss of time and money by solving mistakes and problems the way it fits in our process.

Plan a meeting

After a first meeting we can already start with the handbook and strategy. To do so we do a brainstorm session with your team to figure what you want, what we can help with, when and with what budget The translation into the handbook probably takes a few weeks and might need follow-up discussions on location or, via phone or skype, depending on scale of the project.

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