Michael Gransitzki and Partners was invited by INTACH Pondicherry to redesign an existing, but unused park on Pondicherry’s promenade into a skatepark. INTRODUCTION With relatively few athletic activities available to youth in Pondicherry, skateboarding is a healthy alternative. An unspoken culture existing among skateboarders about safety, and the protocol of boarding together in parks allows the development of understanding responsibility. With more than 2,60,000 students in urban Pondicherry there is a need for diversity in available activities. Offering not only a skating facility, but also a place to sit and relax by the ocean, the skatepark would not only cater to the students, but also to the more than 4,50,000 annual tourists. The fast development of athletic subcultures, such as the already upcoming surfing culture will widen its spectrum not only, but also to skating. May it be with inline skates, a skateboard or even a BMX-bike. The implementation of new urban cultures leads to new sources of revenue and therefore benefits all participants. Here the city of Pondicherry has the chance to become a leading role model for other urban developments, just as it is in cultural diversity, architecture and lifestyle. The project aims to minimize environmental impact and revitalisation of the existing park. At the current state there are no trees and only little green spaces. The proposal plans the planting of more than 30 trees and maximised green spaces, which will ultimately improve the current appearance.
The base idea is a circular movement on site. To increase the possible movement the circulation gets extended to the respective site boundary. The incision of the area creates spaces for green pockets and achieves diversity for the circulation. The 8-shaped loop allows a continuous movement all over the site and creates variations of vantage points. The centrally located areas will serve as skate bowls. The two bowls will be serving two different levels of expertise: Beginners and Advanced The incision of the skate bowls creates an obstacle within to enhance the skating experience. As the park will cater not only to skaters, seating will be provided around the bowls for spectators and people relaxing by the ocean. Common facilities are accommodated south of the park similar to the existing structures. These will be located within an amphitheater like setting to provide more seating and a stage. Extensive green spaces will balance between concrete and nature and provide shading. Common facilities like restrooms and a drinking fountain will be provided at the southern seating area and will be distributed on various locations on the site. The park can also function without the usage for skateboarding. In case of the successful implementation of skating into the urban culture, it might develop the need for a more advanced and bigger skate park. In case of such a scenario the bowls can be filled up with water and serve as ponds. These two waterbodies might be filled with salt water and serve the purpose of education of Pondicherrys marine life.