The new Skate Park facility, designed in collaboration with GroupGSA and Convic for the City of Sydney, creates a new regional active recreation facility within Sydney Park. Intended for all wheeled action sports including scooters, skates, skateboards, bikes, roller skaters and wheelchairs, the Skate Park actively links sport and play.
The challenge / strategy was to ensure the Skate Park attracted a diversity of users and became a connecting place for the local and wider community.
This vision underpinned the decision to locate the Skate Park in a highly visible part of Sydney Park, and alongside the existing, well-used Kid's Bike Track. In addition, this positioning anchors it along the main park circuit path.
The design features shaded seating areas which invite people to enter and watch, emphasising the place as open and inclusive rather than exclusive and 'niche'.
The Skate Park facility incorporates two key areas, accommodating space for both amateur and professional level skill. In one section, an extensive plaza has been built with obstacles for street style technical tricks and a beginner's bowl for street and bowl style wheeled action sports. Adjacent, an international scale flow bowl which is up to 3.3m depth, provides the more challenging part of the facility and is designed to the level of Olympic-standard. Scattered throughout the Skate Park are multiple viewing areas, seats and trees, inviting visitors to spend time within the space.
Through these design initiatives, the Skate Park has been successful in attracting a wide range of users, and has driven interest with people not previously familiar with the sports the facility enables.
The Skate Park design process undertook several modes of consultation and engagement to ensure comprehensive stakeholder discussion.
A community consultation process was undertaken through the early concept design phase. The intention was to gauge support for this kind of facility and determine whether to include the large flow bowl in the scope of the works.
The Sydney Park Skate Park sits on an old landfill site, which created a significant challenge in the design process. Skate facilities are required to be designed to handle minimum settlement, in order to avoid cracking or movement to ensure user safety. As the Skate Park is located over up to 20m of fill, extensive engineering expertise was required to limit differential settlement and movement in a cost-effective way.
The design team conceived a combination of ground improvement works, which provided a bridging layer over the landfill. This layer minimised movement, while providing bespoke jointing to the skate elements allowing small amounts of movement to occur, while minimising the risk of cracking.