suckerPUNCH: describe your project.
ju-hyun KIM: Idea of MVTP (Metropolitan Vertical Theme Park) started with raising 2 questions:
01. Do we still need to keep the century-old prototype of (subway-located) theme parks?
02. Are there any solution for the under-utilized, decaying downtown (in cities like Dallas and Detroit)?
Suburb-located theme parks have been by-product of automobile-centered society. Indescribably horrible traffic congestion and huge hard-scaped (Hot asphalt) parking lots and has become a constant problem in the towns where these theme parks have located. Theme parks such as Six Flags attracted all kinds of undesirable sprawl to suburbs. In the contemporary society where zero-car, zero carbon is highly valued, these theme parks have been located at the opposite side of eco-sensitive society.
There are the cities which are totally dead once the offices and banks are closed. The critical social problems originated from these largely vacant spaces which has the spatial capacity but lost the magnets to bring the people in. Or these phenomenons are based on the more fundamental problem of ‘zoning’ which separated the ‘leisure’ zone from the ‘work’ zone? Or, ‘fun’ zone from ‘no-fun’ zone?
As an answer to the questions, this project proposes vertically stacked theme park in the middle of the city, expecting the benefit from the transit system and other existing infrastructure, and location near the majority of the population.
The advantage of vertical theme park comes with the urban setting itself: ‘Density’ of the existing urban conditions will make theme park more exciting place. At the same time, ‘Height’ of the vertically stacked attractions will also help to enhance theme park experiences to the visitors.
The classic rides, such as the Ferris wheel, rollercoaster, and carousel are all re-imagined for a vertical experience. The urban amusement park would include an observation deck at the top, with a carousel that makes one complete revolution per hour. A rollercoaster runs around the periphery on the building, along with a water flume where passengers sit in capsules propelled along by the flow of water. On the sides, three springboard platforms host bungee jumpers, and the imagined park would be open 24 hours a day, so that businessman can go jumping after work in their suits and ties to relieve the stressful workday.
Half way up, a mounted Ferris wheel would allow for a more sedate experience, and a sloped walkway would take park-goers from the bottom to the top, with elevators as an option too. Finally, an enormous suspended sphere near the bottom would include a “zero gravity zone” where kids can float around. This urban theme park will be more business everyday and not just during weekend & holiday seasons so that kids can visit the park during lunch time or right after school.
Currently, more than 50% of the world’s population live in the cities according to the UN report and by the year 2050, the percentage will increase to be 70%. This data also supports the idea of urban theme park rather than conventional, rural theme park. Vertical theme park will be the new prototype, innovative landmark of the cities of tomorrow.
sP: what or who influenced this project?
jK: Le Carrousel in Bryant Park, Cedric Price’s ‘Fun Palace’, The Disneyfication Of Times Square, Elevated “L” Tracks in downtown Chicago
sP: what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
jK: Italo Calvino’s ‘Invisible Cities’, Nassim Taleb’s Tweets, Rem Koolhaas’s ‘Delirious New York’, FreeTempo’s ‘Beautiful Wolrd’, Oasis’ ‘ Don’t look back in anger’, Film by Sam Mendes, Michael Moore, Danny Boyle
sP: whose work is currently on your radar?
jK: Richard Sweeney, Cheungvogl, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group)
KyuO Kim for Insight and Inspiration on the Theme Park Design