Being involved in the skateboarding community for nearly thirty years has allowed me to combine my formal drafting skills and skateboarding knowledge to create some of the most exciting and unique skateparks around the world. This combination makes it possible for the intricate details of skateboarding and skatepark design to be translated into clear construction plans that satisfy government requirements and are useful in the hands of experienced contractors.
The process of meeting with local skaters, government and community representatives to get the initial ideas for the skatepark, developing designs, construction drawings, being on site during construction and then finally rolling on the finished product never loses its impact. I always feel fortunate to be part of something that delivers so much joy to so many people.
I AM DRIVEN TO KEEP CREATING FUN, CHALLENGING AND FUNCTIONAL SKATEPARKS; THESE ARE MY CORE PRINCIPLES IN SKATEPARK DESIGN.
Designs for funding applications can give your project a kick start to show you are serious about your skatepark, gather support and investigate potential funding sources.
These are generally quick plans and images that show what is possible for your site and give an indication of how much it will cost.
- do you have a skatepark?
- does it need maintenance or repairs?
- is it safe?
- is it functional?
- is it used?
- does it need to be upgrade?
All these questions can be answered by undertaking an assessment to see how your skatepark performs in terms of condition, safety and function.
Meeting with local skaters, government, community and select peer group representatives can help determine the design parameters for the skatepark. Everyone can have their say at the meeting, or online, and the comments can be collated to form a design brief.
The next step is to prepare a concept design and present it back to the groups for further comment and refinement.
Determining the type of skatepark you want is an important step in the process – plaza, street course, bowl, etc.
Following the consultation outcomes (or design brief) a basic concept design can be prepared that allows everyone to critique the design and refine it. I use 3D computer programs and clear layout plans to make the designs easy to understand for everyone involved.
Typically concept design documentation includes:
- site plan
- layout plan
- perspective views / 3D views
- design summary
Construction documentation is more detailed and technical in nature and is used to construct the skatepark.
Typically construction documentation includes:
- existing conditions plan
- site plan
- set out plan
- dimension plan
- grading plan
- surface finishes plan
- cross sections
- technical specifications
Construction documentation also involves the use of consultants for structural engineering, land surveying, geotechnical investigation (soil report), landscape architects, lighting engineers, etc.
Skateparks rarely need building permits, but this should always be confirmed with the responsible local government authority.
Skateboarding is always evolving and progressing; skatepark design should respond quickly to this and be adaptable. Construction documentation is necessary to get a project built, but they should have some degree of flexibility for on-site changes.
While all technical details will be resolved on the plans, sometimes issues with new layouts or unique designs only become apparent when they are being set out on site. Changes requested by the builder, local skaters or the designer should always be carefully considered as they are generally suggested to improve the skatepark. Often at little or no cost. A better skatepark at no cost? Sounds good to me.
Having the designer check quality, accuracy with the construction documentation and design intent is a wise investment as they have usually been involved with the project from the first consultation meeting all the way up to approval of the final construction documentation. It makes little sense to remove the knowledge gained from this process at the very last stage (which can sometimes make or break the skatepark).