U.S. clothing and footwear brand House of Vans has transformed a series of five disused tunnels beneath the streets of London into an indoor skate park! The Old Vic Tunnels at London’s Waterloo were recently transformed into a subterranean cultural and entertainment hub with pop-ups and performances, but it was closed last year until the footwear giant gave it a major makeover. Now revived, the underground playground comes with a gallery, cinema, café and artist studios.
From 2009 until 2013, the 30,000-square-foot area of disused transport passages were used as a venue for experimental art exhibitions, music concerts and film showings, including Secret Cinema’s event based on the film Battle of Algiers, and a pop-up restaurant run by Michelin-starred chefs. In March last year the space closed and remained empty until House of Vans built an indoor skate park, complemented by gallery spaces, cinema and a café. Their program is planned to last for three years, five days a week. It is the second House of Vans and the first one to open in Europe-the first one is located in Brooklyn.
The space of the Old Vic was designed to fit a music hall and a skate park. A series of Vans-inspired murals mark the entrance to the tunnels located in Leake Street, while the walls of the corridor leading to the main space are covered in black-and-white imagery from the brand’s Living Off the Wall campaign. The exhibition space currently features work from Ben Drury, Trevor Jackson and fashion designer Louise Gray, among others. Artists can rent the studios for free, the skate park is open to public and the musicians performing in the space are asked to donate a percentage of their ticket sales to charity.
Photos via House of Vans Facebook page