The City Hall asked us to create a very small skatepark instead of some old “boule” gravel located right beside a football court and a public Sports Hall building in Parc de la Ciutadella. Part of the terrain was tilted and covered with the classic Barcelona street pavement because right under were the dressing rooms for the Sports center swimming pool. So the terrain left to consider any kind of ramps was really limited.
Our proposal for the municipality of Barcelona for this project was clear from the start: To abandon the preconceived idea of “skatepark,” and to simply look, recognize and value the reality of the kind of street skateboarding and architecture that has already made Barcelona a real gem for skateboarders all over the world. Rather than a “skatepark”, we preferred just to propose a new “skatespot” or public space designed this time specifically for skateboarding. This already allowed us to be able to propose a new long pavement that could overlap the roof of the dressing rooms, making it possible to have a bigger surface to work with.
We wanted to use the same kind of public space architecture and materials that already exist in the city, with obvious multiple references to many of the best granite “plazas duras” that skaters use. In fact we also wanted to make a point and to put on the institutional spotlight, in a positive manner, the reality of Street Skateboarding in the city and to embrace as an architectural resource what Barcelona and its architecture means for the skateboarding community internationally for so many years now.
This plaza or skateplaza has also an architectural or urban function. It is a public space for the youth to gather and meet. But also wanted to establish a visual relationship with its urban context in such a location, setting also an effect beyond of what’s strictly built and functional for skateboarding. It was also an opportunity to create a new proper “base” for the Sports Hall building.
The project creates a visual bond or relationship following exactly the 4,8m plangrid of the building and the football field fence to establish all the pavement and obstacle measurements. So it feels it’s part of the same project and it creates some sort of visual or architectonic identity. The black granite chosen in clear reference to the façade of the building helps also in this direction. It also provided a higher impact resistance for skateboarding and maintenance.
Basically, this project is mostly about dignifying Street skateboarding and the space skateboarders use. It’s also about helping building the city with skateboarding, as a positive urban resource.
Other designers involved in the design of landscape: Ecivil + Landem – Engineering
Photos by José Hevia
Project location: Passeig Circumval.lació, 1, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Design year: 2018
Year Built: 2019