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Understanding the Architecture of a Family Entertainment Center

Have you ever sat through a dinner where the adults are glued to their iPads, the children stuck to their phone screens, and the only interaction that happens is the lonely resonance of clinking cutlery and plates?
This is why encouraging a family-centric environment is extremely important these days, and a family entertainment center design is the best way to do so. Let me tell you something; interacting with your loved ones through a one-way screen is no way to live. The technological revolution might have been necessary, but it has definitely taken its toll on the way humans interact with one another. Therefore, the importance of family and close relationships is becoming more and more apparent in this fast-paced, globalized world.

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Now the question is; how should we tackle this alarming problem through architecture and design? It is important to note that ‘design’ is basically deriving hard-earned solutions of apparent socio-economic problems with diversity and grace. It is not simply slapping frou-frou accouterments and out-of-context decorations on a building and calling it a day. It is much more than that.
It is crafting sustainable and Biophilic solutions to retain a natural fiber in our world. And for our particular dilemma, this solution entails creating an integrated family recreational center to promote interaction, learning, and participation. First, let’s take a look at what exactly a family entertainment center design actually is:

What is a family entertainment center design ?

You can say that a Family Entertainment is a downsized amusement park with various activities for all sorts of families. Whether you’re a family with toddlers or whether you’re a family with teenagers, there will always be a designated activity for you to participate in and enjoy at the family entertainment center.
Such a center always has a predetermined amount of space and caters to only a “sub-regional” market of a widespread area. These centers usually offer various activities including but not limited to arcade games, ball pits, restaurants, kiddy rides, athletic activities, war slides and more. A family entertainment center most often features outdoor activities.

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The Business model of a family entertainment center design:

Since a family entertainment center caters to a small regional sub-section of a larger city area, the following business module should be followed during the design process:
– The elevation should be attractive and very visible from all angles in order to attract the people inside the building.
– Invest in on-site security in order to ease parental concerns about the activities.
– Create a stimulating environment in order to make the users spend their money.
– Invest in proper marketing and branding to attract your customers – you should never underestimate the power of good graphics.
– Design adequate landscaping to create a more natural setting for the users to enjoy.

In retrospect, this business module can be used to get your design considerations for a family entertainment center design.

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Further, let’s take a look at how you can go about a family entertainment center design and how it can help better the interaction between family members and their community.

1. Format and size

There is a spectrum you should follow when going about the designing of a family entertainment center. On a scale of one to ten, one would be the kiddy format and ten would be a largely adult format. A designer’s job is to mind the middle ground between these two formats and create a space that is appealing to both ends of the spectrum. You can introduce activities like arcades, virtual reality simulators, mini-gold and other sporty activities to create attraction for all manner of users.

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2. Out of home social experiences

In contemporary times, our homes are becoming extremely isolated. In an era where individuality is the new ‘it’ people tend to look for out of home social experiences. Since a family entertainment center strives to bring about a harmonious congregation of the community, it is the perfect way to go get an out of home social experience. People can subtly interact with one another, and this becomes quite a highlight of the family entertainment center design.

3. The home court advantage

Most family entertainment centers are located at about a 20-minute distance from surrounding neighborhoods. This is an ideal location time-wise. Users do not have to travel a lot to get their entertainment, and this urges them to have a more positive outlook towards the family entertainment center. Over time, this urban design consideration can help the center gather a loyal following.

4. A contained outdoor experience

A family entertainment center design is crafted to incorporate both indoor and outdoor activities. However, it is the outdoors that attract the users in a more inviting capacity. Most families find it hard to have a proper outdoor experience in today’s urban landscape. This is why landscaping is such an important part of the FEC design. Adequate use of green areas can emulate a great outdoor experience for the families, which encourages them to come there more often.

5. The retail aspect

The retail aspect is a relatively new phenomenon in the design of family entertainment centers. There are now themed shops that create a continuous ambiance in the overall center environment. For example, if the center is jungle themed, then the merchandise and retail carries in the same vein. Similarly, over the years, the toy industry has become majorly integrated with the family entertainment center business. Owners offer these toys as prizes in the form of instant prize game winnings and claw machines. This synergy between the two industries is becoming more and more intertwined with the passing years.

6. Rides and other attractions

Fun rides and attractions contribute to the attracting appeal of a family entertainment center design. They appeal to both children and teenagers, which in turn attracts more adults to the premises. So the proper catering of these attractions and rides is absolutely essential to the proper marketing of a family entertainment center. This allows the center to garner more business as well. Most entertainment centers create mutually beneficial deals for their customers in order to fulfill their business quotas.

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7. Branding and graphics

Marketing is an extremely important aspect of the overall family entertainment center design business. Without appropriate branding and graphics, the center can end up alienating the potential customers instead of attracting them. You have to be extremely careful about the kind of graphics, colors and even slogan catchphrases you use. This is where the branding and marketing team comes in. They design attractive graphics and marketing strategies to attract the right users to the center.

8. An eco-friendly approach to design

Sustainability and eco-friendliness are important terms to incorporate in the design of a family entertainment center. It is a huge enterprise that requires a large amount of construction. Therefore, the incorporation of sustainable and green design techniques during this process can lead to the longevity and increased relevance of such a project. You can even incorporate elements of Biophilia in the design of a family entertainment center. This means that a lot of natural light, organic elements and nature should be used in the execution of the design. This can lead to a more rejuvenating experience for the customers and increase the productivity of the staff.

Moreover, the use of such techniques and design concepts can lead to a more relaxed atmosphere that strives to stave off the stress of our urban environment. Therefore, the sustainable identity of a family entertainment center design can play a huge part in attracting the customers and ensuring a relaxed environment to work in for the employees.

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9. A landmark identity

As discussed before, visibility is an important factor in the elevation and façade design of a family entertainment center. According to Kevin Lynch’s 5 points of successful urban design, a public space should have a landmark identity. This means that in order to make an instant impact on potential users and customers, the entertainment center should have an iconic façade. This will naturally intrigue the surrounding people and make them curious. This will lead them to want to take a look inside. This landmark status in an urban context can be a good branding-by-design strategy that attracts the right customer base. In this way, the façade or elevation design can play a huge role in the design of a successful family entertainment center.

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A family entertainment center design offers an integrated social value to its surrounding neighborhoods. It not only offers various avenues of entertainment, but it helps bring families together. It offers family-centric activities and allows the users to enjoy some quality time with their loved ones. It’s the perfect architectural commodity to bring a community together, and its design is especially important.

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