Posts tagged with "Skate Park":

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Tony Hawk is building a skate park in downtown Detroit

Thanks to Tony Hawk, downtown Detroit will soon be home to a new skate park. The pro boarder is supervising the design of a 4,600-square-foot modular skate park that will be located just north of Campus Martius, the Detroit Free Press reported. Called Wayfinding, it's set to open on August 16, right in the middle of peak summer shredding season. Library Street Collective, a contemporary art gallery, partnered with developers at Bedrock, Quicken Loans companies, and the Cranbrook Art Museum to produce the project. Wayfinding has six skating areas and viewing platforms for onlookers; artist Ryan McGinness—whose work is influenced by the surf and skate culture—will create bold neon graphics for the site.

“It was a great opportunity to get something in the downtown area that is a proper skate park,” Hawk told the Free Press. “This one is exciting, although it’s not our usual style of skate parks. At the same time, I want to support anything that is public and will be available for people to skate.” A skate park without a concrete base can be challenging to build, he said, but noted that modular skate ramp technology has improved considerably in the last ten years.

Wayfinding is only temporary at this location, though. It's holding ground until Bedrock's latest development, Monroe Block, breaks ground in early 2018. The pieces will be moved to another part of the city when construction crews take over the site. Though the park is new, Hawk is no stranger to Detroit. He and his wife bought a home there last year, and in years past his eponymous foundation has donated to local philanthropic causes.
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An historic skatepark is replicated—and memorialized—in Tampa

This article appears in The Architect’s Newspaper’s April 2017 issue, which takes a deep dive into Florida to coincide with the upcoming AIA Conference on Architecture in Orlando (April 27 to 29). We’re publishing the issue online as the Conference approaches—click here to see the latest articles to be uploaded.

The Bro Bowl—an erstwhile icon of Tampa’s skateboarding scene—reopened last year with its spirit transposed to a graffiti-free imitation just a few hundred feet from its original footprint. While the skate park initially strained relations between the area’s skateboarders and the African American community—both made full-throated claims to the site—it seems that the new design has assuaged both sides.

Planner Joel Jackson, a City of Tampa employee who seized on what was then a sub-cultural sport, was inspired by the informal use of swimming pools and designed the Bro Bowl in the mid-seventies. Built in 1978 as part of the Perry Harvey, Sr. Park, the Bro Bowl was among the first skate parks in the country. For the activists involved with brobowl.org, the demolition of the landmark in 2015 marked the loss of a cultural and social memory, especially considering that the move effectively revoked its historic status. Other activists claim that the site was significant not simply as a nostalgic moment in history, but as a public commons essential to resisting the commercialization of private skate parks.

For some, however the removal of the Bro Bowl was a necessary part of a larger city-led effort to transform the Scrub neighborhood and Central Avenue drag. Many community leaders saw the redevelopment initiative as a method of reclaiming a bygone history of the African American experience in Tampa. The neighborhood has been occupied by African American families as far back as the Civil War, and has seen a growth of African American–owned businesses throughout the years. But under the auspices of urban renewal, some claim that much of this community was decentralized and even permanently lost. The redesign of Perry Harvey, Sr. Park and the investment in residential and commercial projects nearby was an attempt to realign the residents with the heart of their community.

Tension between the two stakeholder groups has largely subsided in the wake of the park’s overwhelming success. The site of the former Bowl was replaced with a series of display apparatuses with imagery and text detailing prominent members of the African American community, both locally and nationally, as a kind of urban storytelling. Though the Bowl lacks the material history that was so beloved by the skateboarding world, small parts of the extant concrete surface remain in situ. The new skatepark was designed using laser-imaging technology to recreate the feel of the previous concrete surface. According to the Tampa Bay Times, local skateboarders are impressed by the similarities between the original and the replica, “They almost nailed it,” Brian Schaefer, Skatepark of Tampa founder, told the Times.

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Morse code facade wraps a skatepark in Norway

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The Oslo Skatehall, which opened earlier this year, is a new 25,000-square-foot indoor venue designed to be shared between professional and amateur skateboarders of all ages. The building, located on a sloping site near central Oslo, is the result of a close collaboration between architects at Dark, a Norwegian-based firm of landscape architects and skate park design specialists.
  • Facade Manufacturer Schüco (windows & doors); Hansen Sveis & Montering AS (structural frame); Stålbygg AS (aluminum panels)
  • Architects Dark Arkitekter
  • Facade Installer Varden Entreprenør AS (general contractor); Bjørnstad Prosjektering AS (construction management); Profilteam (facade contractor)
  • Facade Consultants Sweco (structural engineering); Hjellnes Consult AS (MEP); Borg Bygg AS (facade consultant); Høyer Finseth AS (construction consultant)
  • Location Oslo, Norway
  • Date of Completion 2017
  • System rainscreen
  • Products custom Schüco-System
Oslo Skatehall’s boxy massing is clad with aluminum panels punctured by a surface pattern of Morse code symbols. The patterning produces a literal transcription of the 1978 Norwegian law forbidding the use, sale, and advertising of skateboards. The architects say this ban, which was lifted in 1989, had the intention of preventing serious accidents but did not discourage people from taking up the sport. “When the ban was lifted in 1989 the interest exploded. Skateboarders went from being lawbreakers to celebrities and youth idols.” The Morse code patterning is introduced to the interior of the building as well, in the cafe and service areas, where its message conveys slang terms and tricks used by the skating community. The facade embraces materials and detailing that were purposefully designed for a “simple and crude expression,” said the architects. “There is a raw honesty to the materials selected, which creates variation in the surfaces and structures. Colors and materiality creates a diversified entirety and gives an extra dimension to the angled expression.” The architects say building information modeling (BIM) enabled a highly collaborative design, fabrication, and assembly process. “BIM has enabled all participants in the project to collaborate successfully, from service providers, management teams, contractors and advisors down to the actual users of the facilities, each contributing their individual expertise.” The hall has been constructed in accordance with Passive House standards, with a focus on recycled materials, life-cycle costs (LCC), air circulation, and sustainable energy sources. The end result is an integrated expression of function and space, in which sculptural static spaces for skating must alternate with effective evacuation routes. “Oslo Skatehall is a salute to youthful values, its fully-integrated holistic design oriented towards the future,” the architects concluded. “The interaction of the building mass with the outdoor venues and surrounding park landscape are symbolic of the interaction between different generations of users, both performers and spectators, now and for many years to come.”  
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Revamped McCarren Park Skatepark opens in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

The redesigned McCarren Park Skatepark in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, opened June 21, just in time for the official annual holiday known as Go Skateboarding Day. The skatepark was originally constructed behind the massive McCarren Park Pool, which itself reopened in 2012 after a $50 million renovation. The pool was one of 11 built in the summer of 1936 by Works Progress Administration laborers under Mayor Fiorello La Guardia and Robert Moses.

The skatepark was designed and constructed within its original footprint by California Skateparks. The company is responsible for many of the city’s most popular skating venues, including the ones at Pier 62, in Tribeca, and underneath the Manhattan Bridge on the Lower East Side.

The redesign adds poured concrete ramps and quarter pipes, and also replaces the existing rails and benches. A key to a successful skatepark design is the ability for skaters to naturally create a “line” between objects for a succession of tricks. The designers collaborated with both professional skateboarders and members of the community, who have been using the park since its initial opening in 2009.

Nike Skateboarding funded the $315,000 for design and construction and threw a block party to celebrate the opening. “The revamped McCarren skatepark is an exciting new addition to this magnificent, busy park,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver in a statement. McCarren Skatepark Bayard and Lorimer Streets, Brooklyn, NY Designer: California Skateparks

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Guy Hollaway Architects’ Three-Story Skatepark Secures Approval

Local government has given the go-ahead to a multi-tiered skatepark designed by Guy Hollaway Architects (GHA) to be built in the town of Folkestone, England. After multiple proposals from GHA and the design consultancy Maverick, the plans promise a state-of-the-art urban sports facility. This project's arrival comes at a time where skateparks face an uncertain future in Britain. Last year saw the closure of ad hoc skatepark Bristo Square in Edinburgh, Scotland. Down in London, plans to remove the iconic Southbank skatepark were halted by the "Long Live Southbank" group with the support of London mayor, Boris Johnson. This 10,700-square-foot structure features three floors, each containing quarter-pipes, ramps, and ledges. Two layers of metal mesh outline the skatepark to create natural ventilation on all three levels. In addition to skateboarding, the facility includes spaces for BMX-ing, rollerblading, and scootering. There are also plans for a bouldering gym, cycling center, boxing club, cafe, and rooftop area. With $12.8 million in funding secured from The Roger De Haan Charitable Trust, construction on the site can begin. The skatepark is expected to be ready for opening within the next two years. Folkestone's wider district of Shepway—and the members of the Shepway District Council, who approved the design—hope that it will become a national and international attraction while offering a recreational facility for local youth. With a monthly membership, residents will be offered lower prices as a way of protecting and expanding the local skate and BMX scene.
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Move over, Jesus: skateboarders convert a historic Spanish church into a “temple of urban art”

The Spanish Church of Santa Barbara, designed by Asturian architect Manuel del Busto in 1912, faced severe deterioration from years of abandonment, until Church Brigade skate collective slid in. The collective's transformation, Kaos Temple, is a skate park completely immersed in geometric street art. With support from online fundraising and energy drink maker Red Bull, Church Brigade designed, built, and installed skate ramps inside the church. Church Brigade commissioned Spanish street artist Okuda San Miguel to paint the interior. In one week, San Miguel, with the help of three assistants—Antonyo Marest, Pablo Hatt, and MisterPiro—finished the transformation. Light filters in through stained glass windows, illuminating walls colored with geometric skulls, wildlife, and human faces. “I fell in love with it, even more after finishing it," San Miguel said of the church. "The contrast of my contemporary painting over the amazing classic architecture is incredible.” The street-artist called his completed transformation a "temple of urban art." Thanks to Church Brigade and San Miguel, the Spanish Church of Santa Barbara is, once again, a place of pilgrimage. Watch videos of the transformation here, and visit Okuda San Miguel's website to see his other works.
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Guy Hollaway Architects announces world’s first multi-story indoor skate park in UK seaside town; calls it “controlled adrenaline facility”

In a bid to keep restless youth from fleeing the sleepy seaside town of Folkestone, UK, for more hedonistic pastures, Guy Holloway Architects has conceptualized what is allegedly the “world’s first” multi-story indoor skatepark. The concept aims to create a larger skateable area without increasing the building footprint, and opening up new stunt possibilities by combining different floor heights. Those who dabble in trial cycling, boxing, and wall climbing are covered, too. guy-hollaway-architects-multi-storey-skatepark-folkestone-designboom-04 Although the architects concede that installing continuous graded floors will be “an engineer’s nightmare,” with adequate planning, the facility can become not only an exemplary urban sports center but also an architecturally impressive edifice. guy-hollaway-architects-multi-storey-skatepark-folkestone-designboom-03 Four stories will stand above ground. Below grade will be a subterranean boxing ring—the soon-to-be domicile of a local boxing club. Two undulating floor plates create a series of giant skateable bowls on the upper floors, whose sculptural form is visible from below. Brave skaters and bikers can plunge 16 feet to the level below. Meanwhile, the building’s outer skin will be transparent to communicate the hive of activity within. For the less adrenaline-inclined, ramps and industrial lifts are provided. The building, according to Hollaway, is a “controlled adrenaline facility.” The undulating surfaces provide ramps, moguls, and ledges for executing nosegrinds and tailslides, resulting in a cave-like entrance hall supported by curving concrete columns. “As you come in you’ll see the belly of the blow above you and hear the wheels of skaters above your head as well,” Hollaway told Dezeen. Collaborating with skatepark designers and “famous skaters,” the British architect is designing the building to lure beginners as well as top-notch talent. The team has bandied about ideas to replicate the best parts of the world’s skateparks and transplant them indoors.“We see this as an opportunity to put Folkestone on the map. To the best of our knowledge, this has never been done anywhere else in the world,” said Hollaway. The skatepark will occupy the site of a former bingo hall in the center of Folkestone, which is currently undergoing regeneration plans after its popularity spiked last year by dint of the Folkestone Triennial arts festival. Of the role his skatepark could play in this goal, Hollaway explained to Dezeen: “If you make childhood more meaningful through education, sport, and recreation, then it’s more likely they’ll invest in their town in the future and stay and maybe bring up their children in that town—that is what true regeneration is about.” If designs are approved, construction is set to begin in September this year and finish in 2016.
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Chicago Plan Commission Approves New Skate Park for Grant Park

This month, Chicago’s Plan Commission approved plans for a new skatepark at the south end of Grant Park. Plans were released last fall, showing curvy paved pathways and sculptural landscape features courtesy of the Chicago Park District and North Center urban design studio Altamanu. Using the address 300 East 11th Street, the new skate park would be the city’s fifth and would draw on the neighborhood’s local population of 60,000 students. Originally the project featured a grassy amphitheater, but that was whittled out of the new plan. In all, the skate park and associated "passive areas" will total three acres, said Chicago Park District spokesman Peter Strazzabosco. Bob O’Neil of the Grant Park Conservancy told Chicago Architecture Blog:

We were able to get input and design from all kinds of skaters and BMXers so it was crowd-sourced before crowd sourcing was cool.  We organized skaters back in 2006. The final design is innovative and allows it to be used by the entire public not just skaters and other ”wheelers”.  It will be a place for all types of people and park users to gather.

The skate park will be part of a 1.9-acre addition to the 325-acre downtown park’s southwest corner, between South Michigan Avenue and the Metra Electric District railroad tracks. The city will sell the land to the Park District for one dollar, assuming that sale is approved as expected at a City Council meeting on Wednesday.
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Koolhaas Flag Inspires Designer Skateboard Deck Pattern

Since 2011, skateboarders from all over Europe have flocked to a large concrete slab in OMA’s Museum Park in the city center of Rotterdam as a local spot for tricks and meetups. Nicknamed “Rem’s Flag,” the spot is painted with a massive 492-foot version of the EU Barcode, a multi-colored barcode design by architect Rem Koolhaas, conceived as an equal display of the flags of the European Union. Various objects have been “barcoded” with the Koolhaas flag. The most recent is a set of 80 limited edition skateboard decks, a collaboration between surf-inspired skateboard brand Dufarge and AMO, an OMA think tank, in honor of the Rem’s Flag skating experience. For skaters at Museum Park, the EU Barcode at Rem’s Flag is a challenge: only the best can land their tricks on its straight lines. Working with Generator, a Southern California–based custom skateboard company, Dufarge and OMA scaled the barcode to screenprint on each hand-numbered deck. Taking care to match the country-representative colors exactly, the high quality boards honor Koolhaas’ design and the OMA urban space that has become iconic in the skateboarding world.
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A Glowing Moonscape in France is Skateable Art

In the middle of a lightly populated island in the middle of a French reservoir—the Ile de Vassivière—an eerie green glow rises from the crest of a hill at dusk, indicating that you've found OTRO, a phosphorescent skate park of sinuous bowls and tunnels. Designed by artist Koo Jeong-A, L'Escaut Architectures, and skateboard consultants Brusk and Barricade, the project is described as "skateable artwork" and located near a large chateau housing the International Center of Art and Landscape, a light house designed by Aldo Rossi, and a humanoid piece of land art only visible from high above. OTRO was built just like any typical skate park, by shaping a web of rebar reinforcing around excavated bowls and carefully adding concrete on top. In this case, a layer of primer and a coating of phosphorescent paint was added to achieve the stunning effect. Koo Jeong-A first came to the island in 2007 for an exhibition and, according to L'Escaut's website, "had been impressed by the mysterious winter landscapes of the island and the atmosphere that arose from it...an unreal, phantasmagoric and powerful dreamscape belonging to the imaginary world of the artist."
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Proposal Transforms Park Space Under the Manhattan Bridge

Let’s face it, outside of Central Park, Manhattan isn't known for its abundance of open space. This is beginning to change, however, as in this increasingly innovative architectural age, people are looking to odd, underutilized remnants in the city, from abandoned rail lines to decrepit industrial buildings and toxic waterfronts to create the next amazing public space. One such space sits just beneath the Manhattan Bridge, where Architecture for Humanity has secured a grant and invited nine design firms to take on Coleman Oval Skate Park. Holm Architecture Office (HAO) with Niklas Thormark has taken on the challenge and revealed their program-driven proposal. HAO looked to the surrounding Lower East Side and Chinatown neighborhoods for inspiration and the site conditions informed their comprehensive program strategy. Currently shrouded by the massive legs of the Manhattan Bridge, the design seeks to address the park’s lack of exposure by providing opportunities for local artists to create murals, signage, and other installations, giving the park local identity. Other program intentions include adding bike paths (above), an elevated dog-run with views to the East River, the opportunity for a pop-up movie theater under the bridge (bel0w), and a space for potential street festivals and markets.               At the heart of HAO’s proposal is the skate park. The design combines successful elements of other skate parks in New York City but maintains its originality and affords the opportunity for iconic status by using the existing bridge structures as walls for a "super-pipe." It's hoped this new layout developed with skate consultants Shan Reddy and Jack Dakin will not only challenge skaters, but also perform as the stage for a complex design strategy, befitting of the entire local community. Check out the rest of the proposal:

Parks Department Coopting NYC Skaters?

On Tuesday, the Parks Department cut the ribbon on the River Avenue pocket parks in the Bronx. It is the latest piece of the sprawling, long-overdue parks system promised by the Bloomberg administration in exchange for the parks sacrificed and taxes forgone in the name of the House That Steinbrenner Built (God rest his soul). But that is not what is truly interesting about the River Avenue park. What is is that it contains a skatepark. The fourth one to open this summer, in fact, preceded by new ramps and half-pipes at Hudson River Park (above), Flushing Meadows, and Robert Venable Park in Brooklyn’s East New York neighborhood. A very popular park opened last year as the first piece of the McCarren Park pool’s redevelopment. (This reporter saw young scalawags jumping the fence to get in even before it was finished, so eager were they to ollie about.) The Parks Department now has 11 skateparks under management, with more on the way. Meghan Lalor, a Parks spokeswoman, said evolving tastes were to thank for the explosion in skateparks. “While there is no formal initiative to build more skate parks per se, we’re always attentive to ways to provide what New Yorkers want and need as their interests in sports and recreation evolve, and we’re delighted to offer them the opportunity to perfect their skills on inline skates, skateboards, and bikes in safe, designated areas,” Lalor wrote in an email. And yet it still seems like a startling idea, city-sanctioned skating. After all, this is the administration that would not even tolerate ancient (and famous!) graffiti along the High Line, even as all this new gnarly pavement seems akin to putting up canvases around the city for the express purpose of tagging. Perhaps skating has gone so mainstream that it is no longer subversive, and thus nothing to worry about. Or perhaps the Parks Department is herding all the skaters together to keep them off the streets and out of the parts of the parks where they are not welcome. Now wouldn’t that be truly subversive?