- U / U Studio designs Řeporyje Skatepark in Prague
Hence the proposal, which takes the form of a series of experiences, seamlessly integrating a skatepark, parkour elements, a pump track, picnic tables with barbecues and a wooden stage for use during special events and as an open-air cinema. All enriched with statues by well-known Czech sculptors Čestmir Suška and Lukáš Rais which interact with the composition and the elements in the sporting facility. This combination of sport and art blurs the boundaries between the two areas, promoting creation of unexpected connections and encouraging park users to approach the world of art.
As athletes, the architects of U / U Studio paid a lot of attention to ensuring that the architecture of the 4550 square-metre park perfectly combines functionality with aesthetics. The main paved surface used by skateboarders is made of cement that has been meticulously smoothed over to ensure that there are no interruptions or obstacles. The track is coloured in earthy hues that blend in elegantly with the sculptures, while a diagonal pedestrian path decorated with gracious cement tiles makes it easy for visitors to walk through the space. Painted steel rims underline the presence of obstacles, while the tubular elements of the skate park are visually connected with the structure of the wooden podiums. Lounge areas stand out thanks to use of crushed yellow granite, accentuating the impression of being in a natural setting while mitigating the heat island effect and ensuring drainage of rainwater, which is absorbed within the site.
Park security was another essential aspect of U / U Studio’s project. There are no fences, to promote security and social inclusion of people with different backgrounds and sporting interests, as well as dialogue and connection with the neighbourhood. At sundown, specially designed public lighting illuminates the skate park, extending the hours during which it can be used. A diagonal pathway allows the park to connect BUBEC art centre with Prague’s lively city centre, bridging the gap between culture and sports. The parks is effortlessly integrated with the nearby pathways and sidewalks to promote a cohesive cityscape. The steps for sitting on the gently sloping land offer a beautiful view over the entire park, and beyond.
In addition to the skating track, Řeporyje Skatepark has a ping-pong table, recharging points for electronic devices, a drinking fountain and a trendy snack bar. The public toilets are particularly well-designed, so that each of them is a separate jewel of architecture.
The residents’ determination and the support of the municipality allowed U / U studio to make what used to be an abandoned area in Prague Řeporyje into an extraordinary recreational park combining the worlds of sports and culture. Its strategic position next to the well-known BUBEC centre for the arts ensures that the area has the potential to become a lively cultural hub, enriching the flourishing Řeporyje district with a top-quality public space. A harmonious combination of exciting features, extraordinary aesthetics and a focus on inclusiveness makes the park a witness to the transformative power of urban renewal projects.
Project: U / U studio
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Images: Jiří Kotal