Risk Theme Park
As we live in a risk averse society forcing others to take risks on behalf of the public, the public in South Korea hardly recognise the efforts and sacrifices of fire fighters.
In order to not only improve the awareness and appreciation for risk taking, but also promote it as a value, I propose a Risk Theme Park in which people will be exposed to risks and its experience for the city of Daegu, South Korea.
We live in an age obsessed with personal safety. As a result people are no longer prepared to take risks on a daily basis which might prepare them for dangerous situations. This create a ‘Risk Deficit’ in society forcing others to take on that risk on behalf of the public. Typically, these are members of the emergency services, notably the fire services who regularly place their lives in jeopardy to serve the public interest. This is particularly evident in South Korea where the fire service is highly undervalued by the public. These undervalued fire fighters are badly paid and badly equipped.
My question is how can an architectural proposal increase the public’s appreciation for risk taking and promote it as a value?
For example, traditional adventure playgrounds encourage children to take risk in a play because it is beneficial for the child’s development, yet as we grow older, this value is dismissed through education.
I took the city of Daegu, South Korea and its context as a case study in which fire fighters are undervalued. I interviewed fire fighters and spoke to government official and this is something they are interested to address now. One of the ways they are starting to do this is through safety facilities called ‘Safety Experience Centres’ in which emergency situation are simulated for the public in a completely safe environment. The fire service ministry for South Korea is planning to establish 7 new such centres until 2021. What they are planning is a copy and paste of the existing situation where risks occurred and providing same experience where it is all about safety.
What I will propose to them is a risk facility in a form of a risk theme park for the city of Daegu which promotes risk and appreciation of those who take risk. In the risk theme park, people will be exposed to risks and its experience.
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 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.