Throughout recent years skateboarding has evolved into one of the fastest-growing sport in the western world - way ahead of any other leisure or sports activity. However, the former underground sport does not fit into any of the existing conventional sports facilities catering to the organized club-sports. How can we create a new type of facility that can support and embrace the new wave of emerging unorganized street activities?
GAME StreetMekka is a transformation of an abandoned historic roundhouse into a facility for street sports and culture. Located in Esbjerg, Denmark, the fifth-largest city and youngest big city in Denmark, the project is a significant upgrade of unorganized sports and culture in Esbjerg - with much of the program being the first of its kind in the city. Aimed at kids, teenagers, and young adults who do not feel at home in the mainstream sports culture, the goal is to keep the young people “off the streets” by keeping them engaged in street sports and culture, keeping them on the right track.
The project combines historic preservation with new raw industrial spaces for street sports in a modern cultural and social hybrid of the historic roundhouse train depot. The main challenge in the project was to unify preservation with contemporary street culture while balancing the many program requirements with a relatively low budget. The solution was to program most of the existing building as unheated space, enabling it to be preserved in its original state, spending the budget on new additional buildings rather than on insulation that would completely cover the old brick building. Thus, the roundhouse is reincarnated in a contemporary version, completing the circular space that surrounds the turntable, preserving the spirit of the place.
Rather than erasing the history of the site, we propose to rebuild and reinterpret an entire abandoned train depot. We restore existing buildings and add new durable and low-tech industrial halls, naturally fitting the historical development and raw pragmatics of the train depot with the aesthetics of street culture.
Lead by EFG Team Members