Words and photos by Robin Pearson
Frontside Gardens is quite different from other skateparks. The area it’s in, Hackney Wick, is pretty interesting – it’s right next to the Olympic Park, there’s street art everywhere, there are constantly new things popping up like legit pizza places, microbreweries and bars… Basically the area has a very creative atmosphere and Frontside Gardens is surrounded by it. I think that’s one thing that sets Frontside apart from other parks – a good atmosphere and a tight community feel, thanks to Andy Willis’ amazing efforts in getting the place started. He worked incredibly hard to create the facility in his own way by reclaiming the land, reusing Nike’s The Pool transitions, recycling petrol tanks as plant pots, refitting old tennis club seats with spare timber from The Pool, reusing cable drums as tables, replanting local unwanted shrubs, reclaiming metal from volleyball courts… The list goes on. It’s a case of doing a lot for a little and it’s very inspiring.
You may remember seeing Frontside on a TV advert for Google a couple of years ago –that’s the kind of attention you get from making something like this happen.