About twenty minutes drive toward the coast from the urban center of Christchurch is Sumner; a beautiful coastal suburb nestled between the ocean and the hills. A local group known as Sumner Skate and Green pulled together community resources to advocate for the development of a skatepark and green space in their town. This was no minor task, as the first record of a Sumner resident requesting a skatepark was 29 years prior.
Thankfully, perseverance paid off and in 2018 a location on Nayland Street, Sumner was confirmed for development by the Waikura/Linwood-Central-Heathcote Community Board. We became involved in the project and collaborated with the local skateboard and scooter communities via community workshops, ultimately taking desired elements from their proposed plans and incorporating them into the final Sumner Skatepark and Village Green design while including aspects of the surrounding environment, such as a seaside inspired wave-balustrade.
Situated on the northside of Christchurch’s CBD are the St. Albans and Bishopdale skateparks, which we have redeveloped to bring into the modern era. As with many of the earlier skateparks, St. Albans and Bishopdale had both started to show their age. This prompted discussion within the communities, leading to action through the relevant local boards.
St. Albans and Bishopdale may be a short distance apart, but the demographics that occupy these areas are vastly distinct. Bishopdale is one of the largest skate-friendly areas within Christchurch, however due to the declining condition of the park it began losing popularity. Much of the design process for Bishopdale included shifting assets around the available space, and retaining parts of the park that are viewed as iconic, or integral to the cultures and/or communities that utilize the park. Initially the provisioned amount of funding provided by the council would not meet the needs of the locals, but once the community aspirations were clearly recognised the council decided to increase their support with full funding.
We prefer to retain unique features from the original designs, working to enhance current environments by understanding that the identity of skateparks are shaped so by the people that engage with them.
St. Albans skatepark is located near local schools, and was originally an intermediate level park with back to back minis formed from two quarter pipes with a spine between them. Local rangatahi have been asking for accessibility, so the goal for St. Albans was to extend the original park by adding a beginner friendly street-style area, as well as ease of life features such as seating and umbrella shade.
The Christchurch skatepark redevelopments have been integral to the revamping of public spaces within the city. We focus on providing local communities with accessibility to premier skateparks that meet international standards and promote local growth.