RMA are leading the design team and liaising with the authorities in London. With input from the extensive recent consultation the competition concepts have been turned into a scheme design and planning application which was submitted on 25th November.
In line with the Rick Mather Architect's masterplan, the Skate Space design provides a unique opportunity to turn an under used and uninviting area into a vibrant urban space. The Skate Space will connect the southern part of the Southbank Centre's area including Jubilee gardens, the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Hayward Gallery. This presents an unparalleled mix of continuous cultural activity along the river.
The designs are for an active space that continues the design directions and materials of the 1960s concrete, the granite of 2007 Festival Riverside work and the unique atmosphere created by the Hungerford Bridge itself. The space is designed for street skating but deliberately does not look purpose made as clearly demanded through brief development with the Southbank Centre skaters. There are skateable ledges, steps, banks, ramps, amphitheatre seating and handrails but they all serve dual functions. The flexible urban space will host cultural activities such as occasional performances and will accommodate other urban activities such as BMX, graffiti and parkour/freerunning. A new roof structure clad in steel mesh with recessed lighting behind is proposed to cantilever out from the undercroft to protect the skatespace from rainwater and dirt from the bridge above.
RMA & SNE will continue to collaborate on detail design and the space is planned to be operational before the end of 2014.