SKATEBOARDING

New extensions to Washington Way skate park

Wednesday 21 November 2007, 4:26PM
By Christchurch City Council
1264 views


CHRISTCHURCH

An exciting state-of-the art extension to the Washington Way skate park will make the facility one of the best in the country and take skate parks to a new level.

Skaters, Bmxers and in-line skaters as well as the public are being asked for their views on the new addition designed by Convic who have designed over 200 of the top skate parks across Australia and Asia.

Planner Grant MacLeod says while the design reflects what park users want, it is a change from the current concept of a skate park which is separate from the rest of the environment it sits in. Instead it incorporates a plaza and park area so it can be used by both skaters and those wanting a place to sit and watch.

“This has worked with great effect in Cairns where skaters, pedestrians and onlookers all have a space to reside and where people can appreciate the skills of the park user,’’ Mr MacLeod says.

“Skate boarding originated through people skating on the streets and in empty swimming pools. This design reflects the areas where skaters want to be, but where they have been banned from such as Victoria Square. It is creating a great urban space where skaters feel they are in their natural environment with special design features and landscaping.’’

Convic designer Jason McNamee says “We are reproducing the skate experience of parts of Cathedral Square and central skate spots where skaters attempting steps and handrails amongst crowds pose risks. The new area allows easy access into the central skate area via skateable concourse coming from the city centre and from nearby cinema.’’

The extension consists of a 145m long skateable concourse , a feature bowl with cradle, an intermediate bowl with split levels and spine and an urban plaza with planters, shade trees and bouldering walls. The design provides for the complete range of styles; skateboarders, BMX and inline at all skill levels.

“The integration of landscape elements, spaces and materials allows a unique skate experience as well as providing seating and viewing areas and an area for judging competitions,’’ says Mr MacLeod.

“We are seeking feedback for people to make sure what is in the design is what they want and we need to know we are taking Washington Way in the right direction,’’ Mr MacLeod says. “It is such a well-used area catering for the recreation al needs of younger people so we want to get it right.’’

Convic designers and Council staff will be at the skate park between 10am till 4pm on November 24 to discuss the design and to get feedback.