The Dalki Theme Park and Shop is 12,000 square feet of retail and entertainment space in Heyri, South Korea. Created in 2000 by Slade Architecture in collaboration with Ga.A Architects and Mass Studies.
Invented to market fashion products, Dalki is a cartoon character inhabiting a garden with her friends. Dalki Theme Park is a building where these characters interact with visitors in a space for shopping, playing, eating, lounging and exhibits dealing with scale and nature. Learned dichotomies (imaginary/ real, shopping / play, natural/ synthetic, site/ building, culture/ commerce) and scale differences create ”disbelief” and impede users from fully engaging the realization of this imaginary world. Borrowing literary strategies for ”suspension of disbelief”, our fluid organization of space and program blurs these dichotomies and eases users into the ”story” of Dalki.
The building defines three zones vertically; scale-less artificial garden and sky at the ground level, flowing mixed program space on the main level, on the roof a garden and lounge 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. Sculpted floor planes merge the levels into each other and into the site to create a seamless transition between zones: interior to exterior, building to landscape and between programs. The vertical stacking allows short circuits – like hypertext in html, users can jump from one space/program to another. Together the smooth flowing spaces, mixed program distribution and short circuits allow users to choreograph their experiences.