For one day only, British artist Luke Jerram transformed a street in Bristol's city centre into a huge water slide that could only be traversed by lilo (+ movie).
The Park and Slide project involved installing a 90-metre-long slide in the centre of the English city's Park Street – a notoriously steep hill – and allowing 360 people to slide down, one after another.
"The idea came about during last year's heat wave," explained Luke Jerram, who is based in Bristol. "From my office on Park Street, it dawned on me that a simple project like this could make us look at the city in a completely new way. The slide is a simple architectural intervention and a playful response to the urban landscape."
The slide was constructed by laying a plastic sheet over padded mats and hay bales, creating a straight descent from top to bottom. Washing-up liquid and a constant water supply were also needed to ensure a smooth ride on an inflatable lilo.
Jerram first unveiled the concept back in March, prompting various offers of corporate sponsorship. He declined these and instead garnered community support from crowdfunding website Spacehive.
Nearly 100,000 people signed up to use the slide, although only 360 places were available. "The amount of interest and demand has been a wonderful surprise," said Jerram.
"It's obviously an idea that has captured the imagination of a lot of people – we'd have to keep the slide open every day for about eight months to let everyone who has applied have a go. The queue would extend for 30miles!" he added.
Jerram hopes the idea will be repeated by other cities and plans to release an instruction pack for building the slide via his website.
Photographs are by the artist.
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