The Peak Tram is one of Hong Kong’s most recognisable tourist attractions and the oldest funicular in Asia. It has carried visitors to the top of Victoria Peak since 1888 and currently provides transport for over 4 million passengers per year. As a part of the redevelopment of the Peak Tram, Squint/Opera was commissioned in collaboration with Sarner International Ltd to create immersive digital media for the Peak Tram’s new visitor experience.
Peak Tramways Company Ltd
Museums & Attractions
Sarner International Ltd
To provide a seamless, entertaining, and informative visitor experience for passengers; from arrival at the Lower Terminus, to boarding the Peak Tram, enjoying the ride experience until disembarking at the Upper Terminus and beyond.
The 5th generation Peak Tram carried an average of 17,000 passengers to Victoria Peak daily, with this volume of visitors wait times often exceed two hours. Squint/Opera created elements of a visitor experience that would provide informative entertainment for 1000+ waiting passengers at any one time, whilst respecting the tramway as a functional mode of public transport.
Four immersive installations were developed to enhance the queuing experience for the Peak Tram: Once Upon a Tram, The Beating Heart, Upper Terminus and Go Wild at The Peak
Go Wild at the Peak – is the last installation visitors pass before catching the tram. This installation is a full-immersion wraparound video experience. Wall and ceiling-length LED screens depict & mirror the natural beauty of Victoria Peak with a hyper-real rendering of woodlands, flora and fauna.
Hyper-realism doesn’t simply describe the accuracy with which we depicted the species of flora and fauna at Victoria Peak; but also the magical concentration of all the breath-taking moments people can experience in the forest throughout the year, in the time span of a day, from dawn to dusk.
Squint/Opera employed a Virtual Twin, a 3D digital render of the woodland produced in the Unreal gaming engine. Unreal allowed us to build, scale, view change and control every aspect of the design in real time.
The engine is extremely powerful meaning that even the final version of the most complex media panel would render quickly; which allowed us to enact changes promptly and to communicate efficiently with the client, who had a similar VR system installed to provide feedback.
Once Upon a Tram – In the waiting area between the main entrance and the ticketing counters, a large AV installation displays a film, ‘Once Upon a Tram’ produced by Squint; which employs mixed media animation and archive footage to revisit key moments in the history of the Peak Tram. This digital timeline highlights social history, historical milestones and technological development from 1888 to the present day.
The Beating Heart – is a historical haulage room equipment display. The static machinery is brought to life through an immersive AV film produced by Squint which utilises projection mapping and lighting effects to explore the four technological eras the Peak Tram has seen: steam, electric, microprocessor and the modern-day…
Upper Terminus – This AV installation greets passengers as they disembark at Victoria Peak and displays a film produced by Squint, highlighting the various attractions available at the peak. It also highlights the extensive engineering and aesthetic renovations the Peak Tram has seen in recent years.
‘’The implementation of the Virtual Twin was transformational on this project. Using a real time engine for the content creation but also for our reviews in VR meant we could understand the qualities and constraints of the space, design the experience accordingly and work more efficiently.‘’
– Vadim Charles, Creative director Squint/Opera.