Unless you’ve just come back from a long holiday in space, you may be aware that there’s been an ongoing battle over the South Bank skate park, with Southbank Centre proposing to turn the space into new commercial units. While there are contentious plans for the Undercroft space to be closed, there will be a new skate space built 120 metres away under Hungerford Bridge that will be 10 percent larger than the existing space, which is much loved by local skaters.
The Southbank Centre released designs for the new skating space last month, and they have now selected Danish skaters SNE Architects to bring the project to life. SNE Architects is founded by dedicated skater Søren Nordal Enevoldsen, and has extensive experience in skate space design, having designed the world-renowned Falledparken skatepark in Copenhagen. They were selected by a panel of experts, including Floda31 architectural designer Rich Holland and Professor of Architecture and Urban Culture at UCL, Iain Borden (both skaters) as well as a skateboard journalist and three reps from Southbank Centre.
SNE will now be joined by BMX, graffiti and parkour representatives to form an expert focus group to create the new space. The final scheme will be submitted for planning permission in early 2014, and the new skate space is planned to be open and skate-ready before the undercroft is closed at the start of 2015. Ally Swadling