The Dalki Theme Park

"Dalki Theme Park is a place where imaginary creatures interact with human visitors in a real physical setting. Small children have not established boundaries for the real & unreal. They easily enter and occupy the imaginary world."

Location: Heyri Art Valley,Kyungki Province, South Korea

Dalki is a cartoon character invented to market clothes and other products for children and young adults. She is an imaginary girl who lives in a garden with her friends. Dalki Theme park is a building where these imaginary characters interact with human visitors in a real, physical setting. The space accommodates shopping, playing, eating and lounging as well as exhibits dealing with scale, nature and the Dalki characters.

Learned dichotomies (imaginary/ real, shopping / play, natural/ synthetic, site/ building, culture/ commerce) and different scales create a critical distance, “disbelief”, which potentially keeps users from fully engaging the realization of this imaginary world. Borrowing strategies for “suspension of disbelief” from literature, our project blurs these dichotomies and eases users into the “story” of Dalki with a fluid organization of space and program.

The building defines three zones vertically. The open ground level is a scaleless artificial garden. Different program areas spread throughout the raised interior level encourage mixing between programs and openness. A garden and lounge on the roof extend the natural landscape, referring to four lush surrounding hills. Rather than abstracting from nature, the building is a synthetic hyper-representation of nature (meta-real): mimicking while questioning the nature of nature. Merging these levels into each other and into the site creates a seamless transition between zones and between building and site.