Cloverdale Youth Skate Park

British Columbia

The Cloverdale Youth Skate Park is part of the City of Surrey’s ambitious efforts to adapt to and provide for a rapidly growing population that is increasingly young and urban. The park will effectively operate as part of the Cloverdale Fairgrounds - home to the largest rodeo outside of Calgary - and as an ancillary program space for the adjacent community centre. The park will also serve neighbouring subdivisions on a casual basis as well as host music and competitive skate events. Roof coverage is a required part of any modern skate park and with its prominent position next to the community center and fairgrounds, the park enjoys a prominent public location. The roof - a nearly six thousand square foot undertaking - represents an opportunity to further sublimate a sport that is (let’s face it) unappreciated by

Represents an opportunity to further sublimate a sport that is (let's face it) unappreciated by many.

Here, in the grey of the Lower Mainland and “rural” Surrey, a canopy clad in translucent material and lit from within by a public art LED project, is an ephemeral beacon that elevates the meaning of park to a level commensurate with the importance of skate culture in contemporary youth culture.

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The canopy is lit from within and the semi-transparent polycarbonate, suggests an amorphous lantern. This aspiration was augmented with the help of a local art fund and artist group who worked to bring a public LED light display to the project. Coupled with digital projectors, the soffit and canopy walls work as screens offering the capacity to modulate the very nature of the project between day and night.


The project’s primary considerations are the coverage of as much of the skate terrain as possible while simultaneously addressing both the park’s north and south entries. Central too, is the provision of a clear line of sight from the arterial road that forms the park’s western edge - in part for practical after-dark surveillance, but primarily to capitalize on the showmanship that is so characteristic of skate culture. Like good architecture, what is skating, but the showy defiance of gravity?

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