ERA21 #03/2023 Leisure Cities

kniha editorial

City Details

Martin Hrouda

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kniha completed project

Children’s Toy Blocks. Větrník Preschool in Říčany »

David Kraus / Architektura, s. r. o.

In summer 2022, the latest in a series of architecturally notable preschool new-builds was completed in Říčany near Prague. Situated at the edge of an existing low-rise development and a new housing area Větrník, it will most definitely stand out among the old and new family homes—the street front remains relatively modest with a simple white render finish, but in the back garden the massing unfolds in a series of bright colourful pyramidal shapes, or pagodas. Inside, the main entrance atrium is the heart of the building with a huge rope net hanging above, accessible from the gallery. In the classrooms, the irregular spaces underneath the pagodas’ slanting roofs become hideouts or teepees with scattered daylight coming in through small triangular windows.

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Colours of Life »

Jakub Karlík, Stéphane Ashpool & Ill-Studio

There has always been a close relationship between art and the human body. Since ancient times, feats of the body have represented the beauty ideal. Today, the connection between sport and culture, functionality and aesthetics, is still apparent in our lived environment. A good example of this is an empty lot in the Paris district of Pigalle. After the locals protested against using the space for a car park, an impromptu basketball court was created there in 2009, managed by the local designer Stéphane Ashpool. He also became the curator of this space, coming up with a new aesthetic every two-to-three years. The artist Yué Nyno Wu was asked to realise the first mural, the next four were by Ill-Studio designers, supported by Nike and NBA star players. A similar initiative can be found for example in Pilsen, too, where Jakub Karlík, artist and skater, created a mural for the River Bank Spot near the river Radbuza.


Boards, Cement and DIY. How Pessertive Crew Changes Pilsen’s Public Space »

Jakub Novotný

In recent years, skateboarding has been mentioned in general conversation most often in connection with its Olympic debut, which indicates a shift away from an unorganised street subculture towards a professional sport. The commercialisation of skateboarding gains momentum, demanding ever increasing performance, just as small community initiatives elsewhere disrupt the market and hierarchical logic of our society and cities. The global DIY movement is booming and inspiring local groups to independently build their own skateparks. For many skate groups around the globe, DIY becomes a part of their skating experience, pushing their creative and learning potential to the next level. Pilsen’s Pessertive Crew is a good example, as they actively work on creating various skate interventions in their home city, both on the outskirts and in the city centre.


My Dream of an Urban Environment is Something that is Open to Playfulness Gustav Svanborg-Edén Interviewed by Jan Bureš »

In the world of skateboarding, Malmö, the third largest city in Sweden, is a well known skate destination.

One of the reasons for this is the fact that Malmö employs a Skateboarding Coordinator, a job currently held by Gustav Eden. What does this unusual position entail? How did Malmö become a skateboarding Mecca? Discussing all this and more, Gustav Eden meets with architect and occasional skater Jan Bureš.

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Something for Everyone. Remisepark Renewal in Copenhagen »


A complex scheme for the gradual transformation of the Urbanplanen housing estate, built during the late 1960s and early 1970s in the Copenhagen district of West Amager, also included a revitalisation of the local central park called the Remisepark. What was formerly a neglected and cluttered area between housing blocks is now opened up, offering a number of different sport, community or leisure activities. The project also includes several blue-green infrastructure solutions.

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Puzzle. Square Revitalisation in Hengelo »

Buro Lubbers

The Dutch city of Hengelo has a population of 100,000 and it is an important transportation link and an international railway node. Despite this, for a long time the traffic square Industrieplein at the back of the railway station didn’t match its significance and only served as a car park. Now the Industrieplein is set to gradually become the link between the old city centre and a new redevelopment of a former industrial area to the south. A puzzle of transport flows and pedestrian routes was eventually solved by dividing the space with green shards that together form the new composition of the space, now including a skatepark, taxi rank, Kiss+Ride and bicycle parking. The selected vegetation carefully takes into account the consequences of climate change, with a new water course linking two existing streams. This new waterway has been realised by adapting an old underground sewer, so now and then the water appears on the square to dive again underneath street level further on.

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Reflecting near the River. Talaue Park Revitalisation in Waiblingen »

RMP Stephan Lenzen Landschaftsarchitekten

The original German name of the Talaue Park references a floodplain meadow—an area regularly

flooded by the river Rems flowing through it. The flood area is an important part of the local ecosystem in the very heart of Waiblingen. It was carefully revitalised to preserve the natural character of the riparian forest park, but at the same time to offer opportunities for active rest, sport, and events. Besides the new skatepark and children’s playground, a new Art Clearing was created in the middle of the park, representing, with its 1400 square metres area, the negative imprint of the local city gallery’s footprint, and now serving as a place for public art and small events. The grove was deliberately designed to be experienced as an artificial object, it is marked by a concrete curb and pruned fruit trees, and is located so that it would be somewhat separate from the surrounding path system.

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Youth Forward. Multi-Story Skatepark in Folkestone »

Hollaway Studio

Right in the heart of the South East England seaside town of Folkestone, the world’s first multi-story skatepark was built last year. The building grows out of the site increasing in size as it rises up, and due to its rounded shape and oversized windows and facade cladding, it appears to be smaller than it actually is. Its true scale only becomes apparent inside. A bulging concrete underbelly of the bowl floor seemingly floats above the lobby and the glazed cafe next to the entrance. The flow park and the street park, both made of plywood, occupy the top two floors. Originally intended to be a car park building and later transformed into a skatepark, the project was financed by Roger De Haan, local businessman and philanthropist. De Haan has already invested heavily into the regeneration of Folkestone and his latest enterprise is meant to offer young locals the freedom and the opportunity to push both physical and mental boundaries within a safe space, hopefully reversing brain-drain.

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Park Under the Bridge. The Underline Park in Miami, First Phase »

James Corner Field Operations

The Underline, Miami’s scheme to revitalise the seventeen kilometres of public space underneath its elevated Metrorail, has already seen the first phase, the Brickell Backyard, completed in 2021. The linear park’s design is organised as a procession of rooms including the River Room, Gym, Promenade and Oolite Room, offering a combination of places for respite, social gathering, fitness, performance or art. Brickell Backyard also provides lushly vegetated spaces with plantings inspired by historic plant communities that once dominated the area.


Spaces that Teach Empathy. Togetherness, Sustainability and Adventure Playgrounds »

Marie Pourghasem Omandani

There are many different ways to achieve sustainability in a children’s playground design or an activity park design. Sustainability can also take many forms. Either way it should always link very strongly with the project’s core idea and the conceptual arrangement of the space, as opposed to simply being an add-on element. Sustainability can actually become a completely natural design component, if we let ourselves be inspired by and respect the world around us, and decide to choose an intuitive approach.


Public Space Belongs to All of Us Hana Třeštíková Interviewed by Jan Bureš »

In public space maintenance, the district of Prague 7 is considered exemplary in many ways. For example, the pedestrian underpasses between Hlávkův bridge and Vltavská metro station were successfully revitalised in a unique manner, thanks to a well thought-out participatory project approach. In conversation with Hana Třeštíková, Prague 7 deputy mayor for culture, sport, and communities, we talked about this project but also about the political and social context of urban planning, her experience with citizen participation, and the potential of Prague’s public spaces.

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Underground Life. Revitalisation of the Vltavská Underpasses in Prague »

U / U Studio, Re_place

The recent two-phase revitalisation saw the neglected pedestrian underpasses around the Vltavská metro station transformed into a unique space for sport and leisure activities. Completed in November 2021, the design of the first phase was inspired by the linear character of the Vltava river and focused mainly on skateboarding, BMX, scootering and streetball. The second phase was completed at the end of 2022, this time the design was inspired by a nightclub. Its red neon lights and red-painted concrete stairs definitely capture the underground clubs’ atmosphere. This second underpass offers a dance stage with a mirror wall, dance poles, free-style obstacles, a climbing boulder, a workout space and an art gallery. Both phases also included thorough cleaning, new surfaces and high-quality lighting. The underpasses are still fully accessible and functional for pedestrians and cyclists.

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Sport in an Art Gallery. Leisure Activity Park in Prague Řeporyje »

U / U Studio

It was the local community who first came up with the idea to create a leisure activity park in Prague Řeporyje. The goal was to use an abandoned brownfield and transform it into an attractive, safe, and variable public space suitable for different age and social groups. Removing the fencing around the place was also a gesture of faith in social security and inclusion of different groups as well as different sports. The project includes a gallery, skatepark, parkour area, pumptrack, open air cinema and timber

stages for other events. On top of that, there’s new public lighting, a picnic area equipped with a grill, a ping-pong table, charging posts and a drinking fountain. Next to the parkour area, a small public toilets building could be added in the future. Several sculptures by prominent Czech artists complement the park, placed in direct dialogue with the arrangement of the park’s individual features, thus creating an unusual connection of movement and art.

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Valley of Joy. Leisure Activity Park Jammertal in Folimanka Park in Prague »

Jana Mastíková / LOXIA

Prague’s Folimanka Park was established in the 1970s, by transforming the existing historic vineyards and orchards. In 2007, an extensive renewal of the central part of the park was carried out, which added new playground equipment as well as refreshment establishments and public toilets. But the 2007 project didn’t cover one section in the eastern part of the park—this was only revitalised last year and turned into Jammertal, a multi-purpose sports park for year-round use. Its striking combination of bright yellow steel elements and coloured concrete, asphalt or gravel surfaces contrasts playfully with the monumental figure of the Nuselský bridge, built to span the valley in 1973. The name Jammertal means “Valley of Tears” in German, and it dates back to the aftermath of The Thirty Years' War, when this area was laid waste. Now, thanks to the new leisure activity park, Folimanka’s valley of tears becomes a valley of joy, sport and respite.


Hybrids »

Pierre Descamps

Nine skateable sculptures, or hybrids, were installed simultaneously in three different public spaces, in three different cities during summer 2022. The site specific sculptures in Bordeaux, Malmö, and Toronto adapted simultaneously to three different public places, three different cultural, social, and architectural contexts. During the entire event, these identical shapes, thousands of kilometres from each other, had been skated and activated at the same time by the inhabitants and the visitors of each city.



Jana Gerneschová / Strojnická fakulta Slovenské technické univerzity v Bratislavě, ČMI / Marek Šmíd, Geiland Porrovecchio, Pavel Jonáš, Petr Kliment, Alžběta Rossi / ČMI


Isabela Bradáčová


Petr Vaněk

ERA21 vydává ERA Média, s. r. o.
Chleborádova 69/22, 619 00 Brno

Phone: +420 530 500 801
Projekt se v roce 2024 uskutečňuje za finanční podpory: Ministerstva kultury ČR, Nadace české architektury, Statutárního města Brna a Státního fondu kultury ČR.
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