Manhattan skaters will soon be treated to a world class skate venue. Steve Rodriguez, founder of 5boro Skateboards, has recently won NIKE and Architecture for Humanity’s Gamechangers grant with his plan to give Manhattan Bridge Skate Park, also known as the Coleman Oval Skate Park, a much needed makeover. Architecture for Humanity invited six firms to create designs for the new park, one of which came from HAO Architects. HAO would transform the site into a gorgeous skate park that would welcome the community to participate in events, watch skate competitions, or enjoy outdoor films.
Coleman Oval Skate Park, on the edge of Chinatown under the Manhattan Bridge, is currently a skateboarders’ favorite, despite being extremely under-kept and in disrepair. The local neighborhood lacks a true community hub, so the new park will bring positives to those skeptical of inviting more skateboarders to the area.
HAO imagines a well-lit venue for both skating and other community activities. A now-present dog run will remain, only now having dual sides, creating an amphitheater on its reverse, which include seating that gives spectators superior views of the nearby East River. HAO imagines outdoor movies, concerts and dance events to take place here. An urban gallery will showcase local artists with colorful murals for the public to enjoy.
Bike lanes will be extended to divert bikers around the park, bringing new visitors. A board games section will be redesigned for local chess and backgammon games. The state of the art skate park and ramps will invite new business to the area, as a possible venue to host national and international games and competitions.
The winning design will be chosen this month and construction of the new park will break ground this fall, in cooperation with Architecture for Humanity.