VIDEO: Southbank Centre skate space plans released
11:09 09 September 2013
Southbank Centre is asking skateboarders to give feedback on three designs for a new, permanent skateable space under Hungerford Bridge.
The skating space, which forms part of Southbank Centre’s Festival Wing refurbishment, would be at least 10 per cent larger than the existing site in the Queen Elizabeth Hall undercroft, free, permanent, and open 24/7.
Southbank Centre commissioned skaters Iain Borden, Professor of Architecture and Urban Culture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, and Rich Holland, an architectural designer at Floda31, to prepare a draft design brief earlier this summer, and three architectural firms have now submitted designs.
Jude Kelly, artistic director of Southbank Centre, said: “These architects’ designs show what a great public urban space this could be. We want skating and other urban arts to continue to flourish at Southbank Centre and we hope these proposals show we’re committed to a permanent, riverside skate space right next to the Royal Festival Hall.
“We also understand that community sites like these are enormously enhanced by organic development through the use and input of the users themselves, which is why I emphasise that these designs are not set in stone.
“We welcome input from the skateboarders who regularly use the undercroft and any other skaters, graffiti writers or BMXers who want to be involved in helping develop the design.”
A selection panel will be formed with representatives of interested communities. It will be responsible for selecting the architect, finalising the design brief and developing the design.
One of those on the panel will be Winstan Whitter, a professional skateboarder turned film-maker, who is a long-term skateboarder at Southbank Centre.
The centre’s plans for the Festival Wing include the refurbishment of the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery complex as well as the addition of major new arts and educational spaces to create, together with the successful Royal Festival Hall refurbishment, a world-class cultural centre for the 21st century.
As part of the Festival Wing proposals, a new riverside area for urban arts was proposed 120 metres upriver under Hungerford Bridge. Southbank Centre has obtained Network Rail’s support in principle for the new space under Hungerford Bridge.
The outcome of the further consultation is expected to be announced in October.