Of all the skatepark plans we’ve shared online in the past year or so, none has had more of a reaction than the Kent Urban Sports Park. This project is for a multi-storey skatepark, featuring indoor concrete bowls and an interestingly-shaped bespoke building to house it all.
With some pretty wacky original visualisations at first, many of us weren’t betting on it ever actually coming to fruition. But, since those first images, the design has been carefully refined and is now finally taking shape in the real world down in Folkestone, Kent.
We spoke to Kay Whitehead, Project Officer about the build, how they designed it, when we can expect it to be ready and how it’s all going so far.
Q&A with Kay Whitehead about Kent Urban Sports Park:
– Many people saw the design for Kent Urban Sports Park and doubted it would ever get built. How does it feel to be building something so different?
“It is challenging but very exciting to be building something so different. Shepway Sports Trust are fortunate to have the support of a visionary man, Sir Roger De Haan, in this ambitious project. Instead of building a skatepark that is limited by the size of the site, we’ve decided to make it multi-storey meaning that we’ll have three different floors that feature concrete bowls and a timber street section.
“One of the major challenges from the outset has been the balance between style and substance.”
The ‘flow’ floor will be timber and has over 500sqm of skate surface including waterfalls, volcanoes, blends and hips. When you’re building something that hasn’t been done before there are lots of challenges so it helps to have a great team around us who understand what we are aiming for and are committed to using their expertise to help us achieve it. We recognise that this is a fantastic opportunity for the charity to deliver something spectacular in Folkestone.”
– What have been some of the major challenges so far?
“One of the major challenges from the outset has been the balance between style and substance. We want cutting edge design that doesn’t compromise on the offer inside. This building has to deliver a quality experience for anyone who walks through the doors.
In terms of construction, and especially engineering, that means a lot of creative thinking in how best to deliver certain aspects including the façade. The building gets bigger as you go up and finding solutions for the floor plates and the façade has required quite a lot of revision and fine tuning. We’re suspending two large concrete bowls from the ceiling – it’s a lot of fun.”