Dalki Theme Park

Dalki Theme Park located at Gyeonggido, South Korea is a project by Mass Studies + Slade Architecture + Ga.A Architects. This project was submitted to Architecture News Plus (ANP) by Mass Studies. Project’s programme: Theme park accommodating shopping, playing, eating, lounging and exhibit spaces.


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.

Merging allows smooth transitions between zones, from interior to exterior, building to landscape and between programs. The vertical overlap allows another type of connection – the short circuit. Like hypertext in html, users can jump in a non-linear way from one space/program to another, bypassing the sequence. The combination of the smooth flowing spaces, mixed program distribution and short circuits allows users to choreograph their experience by choosing trajectories or spatial sequences.


  • Project name: Dalki Theme Park
  • Location: Gyeonggido, South Korea
  • Program: Theme park accommodating shopping, playing, eating, lounging and exhibit spaces
  • Area: Site Area: 3583.3 m2 • Total Floor Area: 1995.8 m2 (Dalki Theme Park), 2465.9 m2
  • Year: Design: December 2001 – January 2003 • Construction: February 2003 – June 2004
  • More details: Site Coverage Area: 1253.3 m2 (Dalki Theme Park), 1504.73 m2 • Building-to-Land Ratio: 42.0% • Floor Area Ratio: 68.8% • Building Scope: 2F • Structure: RC
  • Client: Ssamzie
  • Project by: Mass Studies + Slade Architecture + Ga.A Architects
  • Team: Mass Studies Team: Minsuk Cho, Kisu Park, Joungwon Lee, Soon Pyo Lee, Soonbok Choi, Hyunjung Kim, Byulnam Yoo • Slade Architecture Team: James Slade, Hayes Slade, llya Korolev, Francisco Pardo • Ga.A Architects Team: Moongyu Choi, Jeonghui Kim, Kwangho Cha, Inchul Kang, Taekwon Yun, Bongki Song, Dae Gon Koh, Jeyong Kang
  • Others: Artist Collaborator: Hyungjoo Lee • ‘Ddongchimi Tube’ mural: Sasa (44): 44’s Kick-Ass!!! • Model: Design Seoul Model Co., Ltd. • Structural Engineer: Shin Structural Engineering • MEP Engineer: Han On Engineering, Dong-Ho Engineering • Civil Engineering: Kyoung-In Engineering • Construction: Hanool Construction
  • Text: Courtesy of Mass Studies
  • Images: Courtesy of Mass Studies

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