Dezeen Magazine

Vans skatepark in Paris

PlayLab Inc creates plexiglass skatepark for Vans during Paris Fashion Week

LA studio PlayLab Inc and construction company California Skateparks have designed a temporary skatepark for Vans in Paris that was partly made from clear plexiglass to reference the nearby Louvre museum.

Unveiled in the French capital during Men's Fashion Week, the skate installation was located at the Pont Alexandre III bridge along the River Seine.

Vans skatepark by PlayLab Inc
The temporary skatepark was in central Paris. Photo is by Karl Hab

The structure featured a series of skateable elements arranged atop a rectilinear plinth, which was patterned with the distinctive checkerboard motif associated with the American skateboarding shoe brand Vans.

Skatelite was used to create the plinth – a highly durable solid paper composite material that is typically used as riding surfaces for skateboarding and other extreme sports.

Checkerboard chunky wall
It featured a checkerboard pattern

Various classic ramps were created from transparent plexiglass and arranged across the plinth in a skateable formation.

"Clear plexiglass lets the audiences watch skating from inside the ramps and references the iconic Louvre pyramid nearby," said PlayLab Inc co-founders Archie Lee Coates IV and Jeff Franklin.

Clear plexiglass skate ramp
PlayLab Inc created skate ramps from clear plexiglass

A series of chunky checkerboard walls were also positioned atop the plinth, complete with LED screens that revealed live stream skate footage that was captured on 14 CCTV cameras throughout the week. The cameras were also embedded into the installation.

"Together, we wanted to create a place that was skateable, but didn't immediately register as a skatepark," continued Coates and Franklin.

"A series of walls hold clear skate elements, simultaneously nodding towards the future while referencing the past – specifically, the legendary acrylic skate ramps of the 1970s," they told Dezeen.

While the installation has now been dismantled, Vans and California Skateparks have donated elements of the structure to the Cosanostra Skatepark in Chelles, France.

The installation was created to announce OTW by Vans, a premium category that the brand described as "a new platform where the most elevated product expressions and brand experiences come together with the innovators of art, design, style, skate culture and entertainment."

Clear skate ramp in Paris by PlayLab Inc
The installation formed part of Men's Fashion Week. Photo is by Karl Hab

Recently, clothing brand Supreme added a fully floating skate bowl to its Los Angeles flagship store, while the world's first multi-storey skatepark opened in Kent, England, last year.

The photography is by Atiba Jefferson unless otherwise stated and is courtesy of OTW Vans.

More images

Skatepark for Vans by PlayLab Inc
Skatepark for Vans by PlayLab Inc
Skatepark for Vans by PlayLab Inc
Skatepark for Vans by PlayLab Inc
Skatepark for Vans by PlayLab Inc
Skatepark for Vans by PlayLab Inc
Skatepark for Vans by PlayLab Inc