Imagine a city of the future where skateboards are used as the primary form of transportation and recreation – in and out of your home. A utopia city for skateboarders would mean that a skateable path, like a ribbon connecting everything together, links each building in an unending ability to keep in motion on your board. The PAS House takes this concept and brings it to life through an architectural project mixing a modern single family home with a skateboard ramp structure – all from an environmentally-driven perspective.
Via NY Times, by John Branch:
To most people, the area under the Manhattan end of the Brooklyn Bridge, in the shadows of the off ramps and against the hulking stone structure of the famous East River crossing, is not a place to stop. It is a place to leave.
It is a long, sloping plaza covered in smooth red brick, with a few trees stretching for rare beams of sunlight. Those who amble into this area generally are children passing to and from a nearby school, or misplaced tourists looking for the bridge’s pedestrian walkway to Brooklyn.
But for generations of skateboarders, and an increasing number of BMX bikers, the place carries an iconic name and a sacred meaning. It is the Brooklyn Banks. It is the place to go, to be, and to be seen.
“It’s the best skate park in the world,” the professional skateboarder Mike Vallely said near the end of a popular YouTube video posted earlier this year to pay homage to the threatened Brooklyn Banks, “because it wasn’t supposed to be a skate park.”
It is about to become little more than a construction zone during a four-year renovation of the Brooklyn Bridge. Any day now, a new fence will slice the Brooklyn Banks roughly in half, giving construction crews a staging area for trucks and equipment until 2014. Sometime this summer, the entire area will be closed off for about six months while an overhead ramp is painted, the city said.
Skateboarders are used to being displaced from public spaces. But the Brooklyn Banks has a decades-long history and a cultivated status as a sort of skating Mecca. Besides, it was already saved once, with help from the city, just five years ago.
Read the rest here.