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The Skate Park That Thinks it Can Tell The Time!

Landscape architecture Zuk Club Skate Park

Swiss skate park, by Zuk Club Zuk Club is a Moscow-based collective of artists working in mixed media who explore different artistic styles. Their interests have expanded and flowed into design, monumental, and contemporary art. They experiment through graffiti art and canvassing hard surfaces, such as walls, abandoned houses, old warehouses, and other urban structures. One of their remarkable projects is the intervention of a Swiss skate park. A city that incorporates artwork into its street view is a city that establishes a dialogue between artists who have a passion for city life and the viewers who live there. Graffiti draws upon the urban landscape as a canvas to communicate with both citizens and the material structure of a city. Sadly, urban art is sometimes perceived as vandalism, a subculture synonymous with the destruction of private property. Vandalism is public art that lacks identity and purpose.

5 Pointz Aerosol Arts Center, Inc. on September 11, 2013 in New York.5 Pointz, considered to be the world's premiere "Graffiti Mecca" credit: BrooklynScribe / shutterstock.com

Do you remember 5 Pointz Aerosol Arts Center, Inc. ?
Image and Credit: On September 11, 2013 in New York.5 Pointz, considered to be the world’s premiere “Graffiti Mecca” credit: BrooklynScribe / shutterstock.com

For artists, the essence of urban art is to deliver creativity, freshness, and engagement to the public realm and transform the cityscape. Contemporary art projects are complex criticisms that exist in the context of cities, art worlds, and urban visual culture.

Skate Park: Topography of Desire

  Skateboarding is a popular activity among young people who drift through the city, appropriating urban features to accomplish their risky maneuvers. Street skateboarding could be perceived as a subcultural resistance, because it usurps the urban environment. However, skate parks and skate plazas are a great example of the integration among sports, spatial creativity, and the politics of urban design. The Design The concrete ramps of a skate park located in Lugano, Switzerland, combines two activities: graffiti and skateboarding. The bowl is a 1,000-square-meter renovated skate park; its topographic configuration has been intervened by the Zuk Club collective, transforming it with hand-painted modern murals. The murals explore vibrating colors — from red to blue, orange to green — with chaotic transitions of hue spectrums and complex patterns that cover the surface bowl.

Landscape architecture - Skate park. Credit: Zuk Club

Credit: Zuk Club

In the composition, two sections are visible. On the first section, a rainbow of colors intersects with black and white diamond patterns. A checked complex of red and white overlaid by gray designs creates an optical illusion. On the second section, organic drawings in red and turquoise contrast with black and white fractal and floral designs fitted into one of the pool’s gaps. In the middle of the pool, a conical extruded element is covered by a black and white diamond pattern. Novice and expert skaters are attracted by its singular features and dynamic composition.
Landscape architecture - Skate park. Credit: Zuk Club

Credit: Zuk Club

From Skate Park of Lugano to Skate Park Sundial The skate spot is not only used for skate gliding, it also works as a sundial. The artwork plays directly with light, which casts shadows and marks the time of day. The intention of the collective Zuk Club was to allow skaters enjoy their favorite activity without thinking about time or spending valuable minutes checking their mobile devices. In order to deduce the time, they need only look at the colored stripes painted on the surface. It is a great way of making a leisure activity even more amusing. Related Articles: 

Landscape architecture - Skate park. Credit: Zuk Club

Sundial in action at the skate park. Credit: Zuk Club

Sundial in action at the skate park. Credit: Zuk Club

Credit: Zuk Club

Urban Space as Galleries For skateboarders, the commercialization of their sport brings positive outcomes to their local scene. More investments in skate parks help them to promote their favorite sport, organize competitions, and spread the spirit of skateboarding to younger generations.
Landscape architecture - Skate park. Credit: Zuk Club

Credit: Zuk Club

Lugano Skate Park is not only visited by skateboarders, but bikers, skaters, and scooters. Viewers also visit the skate park to admire the expertise of the skaters and to enjoy the art. Initiatives as Lugano’s skate park are an example of how art can transcend the confinement of galleries — and city walls — to allow urban art to develop in appropriate places and objects in and around the city, turning forgotten or rejected spaces into ephemeral pieces of art available to all citizens. Recommended Reading:

Article written by Claudia Canales Return to Homepage

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