The SkatePark in Mumbai on the Carter Road Promenade is the result of an exciting collaboration between the designers Bandra Collective, creators Bombay SB and artists SanskaarSawant of Homework Book Studio. The skate park has proven to be a great example of how public spaces contribute and enhance the lives of citizens. It is intended to be the first of many dynamic, easily accessible open spaces in the city promoting collaborations to bring together different design sensibilities. Together with the MMB (Mumbai Maritime Board), the BWRA (Bandra West Residents Association) and Altamash Sayed for Bombay SB, the Bandra Collective has worked hard to make this skatepark a reality.
Skateboarding acts as a force of “social disruption”. Not surprisingly, the skatepark at Carter Road quickly has become a meeting place not only for enthusiasts, but also a please where people of different backgrounds interact. Previously the Carter Road promenade was predominantly a place for a quiet evening stroll or a run attracting the elderly and middle aged residents of the wealthy neighbourhood of Bandra.
The skatepark has changed this. Now small kids, young men and women from both underprivileged communities as well as the well to do, join in a sport that binds them together, breaking down cultural barriers. The elderly enjoy the new addition to the promenade as well, watching the stunts and vibrant activity at the skate park from the sidelines.
While re-designing the Carter Road Promenade, the members of the Bandra Collective ensured that the promenade and its featured activity spots become spaces that encourage citizens to engage with public space. Having worked with Bombay SB in the past, the team was aware of the lack of skate parks in Mumbai for the small but growing skating community. This became the starting point of the conversion of an unused stretch of the promenade into Mumbai’s first skate park.
To make sure the the SkatePark was accessible to all the team of architects designed it to double up as an amphitheater that could be used for small performances. Additionally it has multiple access points that allows for citizens to take a short detour to walk through the park, flanked by lush mangroves before walking back out onto the promenade.
The SkatePark is an extension of the promenade and not a separate individual activity. One can walk through the skate park instead of the usual route along the paved promenade. It is accessible via ramps at the two ends and by steps between the trees. By integrating it with the promenade, it welcomes citizens to enjoy the sea front and view the mangroves from this elevated space.
The SkatePark adds vibrancy and is a refreshing new Public Space for Bombay. It has brought together old and young, beginners and experienced #skaters alike. Being the the first skate park in Bombay it has played an important role in attracting new skaters to help grow the skating community of India.
SkatePark and Promenade at Carter Road, Mumbai
Public Space, Skating, Inclusive City
Skate Park, Amphiteatre, Promenade
Being a waterfront city, Mumbai has plenty of opportunities to create public spaces like the Carter Road promenade.
The skate park has been made entirely of reinforced M40 grade concrete that was poured over compacted earth. The smoothness of the concrete surface is integral to the park. Resin and magnesium floats help push the stones and course sand down and allow the creamy cement to rise to the surface. It is then smoothened with a trowel and cured.
Inspired by his love for board games, artist @sawantsanskar reimagined skating as a board game. Along with a group of volunteers he painted the undulating landscape of the park with vibrant colours, attracting skaters and spectators alike.
Both beginners and pros use the skatepark extensively. Beginners use the flat ground and the the pit below while the more experienced skaters whizz across from one end to another, jumping over all the obstacles.
In order to make the park even more inclusive, the design of the skatepark can also be turned into an amphitheatre. The steps leading down into the skating bowl will act as seats, whereas the performance can take place on the platform of the quarter pipe.
Some obstacles have been designed to jump over while others have been designed and strategically placed to help gain speed as you move from one area to the next.
Since a row of existing trees separates the skate park from the promenade, a low granite topped bench provides a shaded seating for spectators. This wall is opens up at intervals to allow for seamless access to the skate park. The design of the skating obstacles ensures that they are also comfortable to use as furniture pieces. One could take a break from a morning jog and rest at the park, away from the busy promenade.
The steps leading to the skating pit can act as comfortable seating during a performance, but they are also wide enough for skaters and BMX bikers to jump over. All the skating elements have a metal edge that prevents the edges of the concrete from breaking as skaters grind along them.