Risk Theme Park

Soon-Min Hong
Royal College of Art
Architectural Design Studio 3: Architecture and Activism (ADS 3)
Faculty: Public Works (website): Andreas Lang, Torange Khonsari, Francesco Sebregondi (website)


We live in an age obsessed with personal safety. As a result, people refrain from taking risks, which in fact may prepare them for dangerous situations. This condition creates a ‘Risk Deficeit’ in society, forcing others to take on risks on behalf of the public.  Typically, these roles are taken by the members of the public emergency services. Notably, fire fighters regularly place their lives in jeopardy to serve the public interest. In South Korea, the fire department is highly undervalued by the public and are often poorly paid and underequipped.

My proposal asks how architecture can increase the public appreciation of taking risks on behalf of others and promote it as a value.

For example, traditional adventure playgrounds encourage children to take risk s during play because it is beneficial for the child’s development. Yet, as we grow older, this value is lost during institutional education.

I took the city of Daegu, South Korea and its context as a case study where fire fighters are undervalued. I interviewed fire fighters and spoke to government officials to see how they were addressing the issue. One of the measures were the establishment of safety facilities called ‘Safety Experience Centres’ where emergency situations are simulated for the public in a completely safe environment. The Fire Services Ministry of South Korea is planning to establish 7 new such centres by 2021. Their plan is a copy-and-paste of a previous incident and emulating  the hazardous experience, yet the emphasis is entirely on safety.

My proposal is a risk facility in the form of a theme park for the city of Daegu that promotes risk taking and appreciation for those who undertake risks. In the Risk Theme Park, the visitors will be exposed to risks and its experiences.

The site is set in Daegu, and the city currently has a Safety Experience Centre on the edge of the city. The proposal, Risk Theme Park, is placed in the centre of the city, above an existing fire station, police station and a senior citizen centre; all institutions that deal with risk.

The Risk Theme Park is a megastructure with a largely uncovered facade, with the building’s programme exposed to the city. The visual exposed nature of the building aims to have a strong affect on the citizen’s awareness and appreciation of risk. The skeletal framework of the scheme creates platforms upon which the programmed elements can be rebuilt once destroyed in fire as part of an simulation. New buildings can be built and adapted suit new dangers or moved within the structure to create room for additional experience.

I hope this risk theme park instills the value of risk taking and those who do it daily as a profession.


↑ This drawing shows the axonometric plans of each platform of the Risk Theme Park and the circulation for visitors. There are 3 recommended routes for the different group which are: the guided tours, the schoop trip, and individuals. The routes are distinguished by different graphics of circulation between zones; slides provide circulation for the school trip and ladders allow the guided tours to move between the platforms. ↑ The drawing shows 3 attractions of risk, Building Fire Experience, House Fire Experiement, and the Monorail Disaster. Building Fire Experience is in relation to the context around the site, and visitors can experience a real fire in House Fire Experiment. As the city launchs the monorail infrastructure for the first time in South Korea, visitors will take relevant risk at the monorail station. ↑ This is for the RCA WIP Show 2015(Royal College of Art Work In Progress Show) representing the conceptual image of risk theme park. Apartments, traditional houses, cruise, market, and monorail station are articulated above an existing fire station, police station, senior citizen centre, and local community centre. If these public facilities collaborate on risk, there will be an chain effect on risk theme park and the society. ↑ This risk attraction is called the ‘High Rise Escape’ provides opportunities for visitors to experience on the climbing wall. For the children, there is an adventure playground focusing on the act of climbing. Along side these experiences, the education will be also provided. ↑ Jump From the High Level is related to the escape from the tall building and apartment. As there is an artificial mountain just underneath the platform of this attraction, visitors can experience various risks in relation to the height ↑ This is a part of an activism, picketing for the public’s awareness of the duty of fire fighters. I wore the fire suit borrowed from the fire department in Daegu, and held a picket in front of the fire station in UK. – FIRE FIGHTERS ARE THE UNSUNG HEROES OF A RISK AVERSE SOCIETY! ↑ This shows the attractions of ‘risk at sea’ and ‘risk at zero gravity’ which is above the platform of ‘risk at sea.’ There are also relevant educations such as CPR and the way of rescuing drowning people. ↑ Section drawing shows the structural scheme and the relation between programmes. I would like to depict this drawing as a piece of art painting in order to naturally display the atmosphere of as well as architectural section drawing. ↑ This perspective view is from the distance and shows largely uncovered facade. In addition, the moment in which visitors are taking risk is visible to the city. These have a strong effect on the society in Daegu.

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