Skatepark, Manchester UK
Designed as a major extension to the skate surfaces and floorspace of a community skatepark, the client had the bold ambition to create a facility with national significance. They asked for a better reception space, flexible space for teaching and meeting, an office, and enough storage for equipment for teaching sessions. Initial thoughts were to reuse the existing shipping containers of the cafe/reception building. However, the increasing popularity of product launch and live events suggested that some kind of central space might open new possibilities for Projekts. So Arca proposed dividing the brief into two, linking the public and staff/storage parts with a bridge. With a jagged geometry that links to the context and a generous width, it becomes a public platform to watch, photograph and film the skaters' exploits below. At the same time, the splayed arrangement of the two container banks creates a natural arena for live events. The enterprise continues to thrive, with outreach events to girls and ethnic minority communities as the message of skate is broadcast far and wide.