Submitted by Mert Kansu

Gelpi Projects' Skatebird Skatepark Brings Local Skaters and Artists Together

United States Architecture News - Apr 22, 2022 - 09:28   1534 views

Gelpi Projects' Skatebird Skatepark Brings Local Skaters and Artists Together

Gelpi Projects' recent addition of Skatebird Skatepark in the Miami village of El Portal brings locals together and provides them a space for self-expression and socialization. The undulating and active public plaza contrasts with the flatness of South Florida, and the "cathedral" provides the enclosed space to provide shade and coolth against the hot Florida sun.


Gelpi Projects' Skatebird Skatepark Brings Local Skaters and Artists Together

The analogy of the cathedral alludes to the spatial planning of the park. The three elements, a stateable terrain, the enclosing walls, and a monumental roof covering half the site, define the project and its programs. The design features of the projects exist in a well-designed tension. While the skatepark snakes and flows around the hardscape, the rigid lines of other architectural elements provide a didactic stance in their definition of the program. The buildings in the projects are built abiding by the rigid requirements of the strict building code. However, the ground plane offers an alternative way of inhabiting space with its surfaces and its playful form contrast.

Gelpi Projects' Skatebird Skatepark Brings Local Skaters and Artists Together

As an urban intervention, the project offers a space for skating and a gathering place—the levels of repurposed shipping containers on the east and west sides of the park house micro-retail venues. The skateparks ground plane merges the ground plane with the second level, where observation balconies flank the park.

Gelpi Projects' Skatebird Skatepark Brings Local Skaters and Artists Together

Southern Florida region, known to be flat, this park creates an unusual experience for its visitors with its hills, mounds, ramps, banks, drops, and edges, merging with the conventional means of traversing the site. This provides a new hybrid space between the conventional buildings and a foreign landscape.

Gelpi Projects' Skatebird Skatepark Brings Local Skaters and Artists Together

With its skatepark, retail spaces, food and beverage, event space and a place for arts, the venue invites locals to participate in the design process. Several well-known Miami artists have already painted murals on the various surfaces of the park, including Magnus Sodamin. Magnus's murals welcome visitors to the park and accentuate the flowing surfaces and shifts in elevation upon entering the space.

Project facts

Architects: Gelpi Projects LLC.
Landscape Architects: MAKwork Inc
Engineers: Epic Forensics & Engineering
Steel Building: Perry Tabrizi/ Nu Scope Buildings
Civil Engineers: Kent Groce / Cherokee Consulting
Contractor: Baseline Development
Murals: Magnus Sodamin
Location: Miami, FL
Area: 38,000 ft2
Year: 2022
Client: Joner Strauss

All photographs © Michael Stavardis

All drawings © Gelpi Projects LLC.

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