The Bartlett


Professor Borden collaborates on new designs for Southbank skate space

5 December 2013

The Southbank Centre has announced the final designs for a new skateable space beneath Hungerford Bridge.

Final design of new skate space at Southbank Centre by SNE Architects

The designs are the product of an eight month consultation process, led by Iain Borden, Professor of Architecture and Urban Culture at The Bartlett School of Architecture, architect Søren Nordal Enevoldsen of SNE Architects and Rich Holland, architectural designer at Floda 31

The designs, produced in dialogue with skateboarders, BMXers, free runners and street artists, provide a space that is inviting to the public but also protected from the weather, with a roof and access to power and lighting. Specially designed banks, ramps and ledges form a skateable terrain, while the bridge itself provides a 200m2 canvas for street artists. 

Skateboarding has, since the 1970s, been an integral part of the area, with the Southbank’s world-famous undercroft a centrepiece of its cultural heritage. Under plans for a large-scale refurbishment, the Southbank Centre has allocated £1million to create a new space for the skateboarders, 120 metres from the original site. This new space will see the future of skateboarding at the Southbank legally guaranteed for at least 120 years. 

Iain Borden, whose research centres around skateboarding and its creative reworking of cities said: “Designed in the spirit of the existing space, the new space will be just as open in design and culture, which will see skateboarding continue to flourish at Southbank Centre.”

To find out more about the designs, watch the new video from the Southbank Centre.