Hof a.d. Saale
Youth and Recreational Sports Center “Am Eisteich” / Skatepark Hof
In response to the growing demand for sites to practice informal sports, the City of Hof in Bavaria decided to renovate the area ‘Am Eisteich’ (By the Ice Lake) with funds from the Federal State of Bavaria. Located in the heart of the city, this hardly utilized space is being revitalized with the following goals: Create an intergenerational meeting point with a high sojourn quality. Also provide a broad offering for self-organized sports that supplements the city’s overall athletic capacities. With these aims in mind, LNDSKT proceeded to restructure the 13,500-square-meter space by the Saale River in cooperation with engineer agency Seecon from Leipzig to provide a park that is ‘free of charge and outside’.
The facilities and features of the Skatepark Hof were determined and executed into concrete plans by involving a participatory group of interested parties, end user groups, and organizations in a multi-stage process. Results included:
The focal point and largest space in the area is a 1,400-square-meter street skatepark, anchored by a mosaic depicting the city’s coat of arms in the center. With a relatively low basic height of around 1 meter, this area meets the needs of a broad group of users (skateboard, BMX, stunt scooter, etc.) from all age groups. It also allows for inclusive and barrier-free use by WCMX (Wheelchair Skating) athletes. Supplementing the mix, several advanced features cater to more proficient users. The park offers a variety of different pathways/lines that can be linear, circular or crosswise. The obstacles provide a blend between linear street elements as well as organic flow features, which makes the area interesting in the long-term and open to creative uses.
The Bowl Area is divided into two sections: The rather shallow and incrementally deeper skate bowl (300 square meters) on the park’s Northern edge as well as the BMX bowl (350 square meters) with more depth and higher riding speeds on the Southern perimeter of the street area. These two bowl areas are clearly divided both in terms of their conceptualization and visual appearance and serve to meet the needs of both beginners and advanced riders.
Located south of the BMX bowl, the pump track (650 square meters) offers a low-threshold introduction into the world of informal movement practices to beginners. The track is divided into two areas; a smaller track with a symmetrical and simplified layout for novice riders as well as the longer track featuring steep curves up to 1.6 meters in height and free flow of pathways for advanced riders.
Additionally, the park also integrates a multi-sports zone connected to the pre-existing summer curling area (450 square meters). The outdoor fitness area (140 square meters) not only provides a multifaceted offering of training equipment for exercise, but also a slackline for playful balance training. Plus, countless opportunities for Calisthenics users to get active on crossbars, wall bars, dip bars, and a horizontal ladder bar.
In order to enhance the area’s recreational value and heighten sojourn quality, all sports facilities were integrated into the surrounding landscape as seamlessly as possible. This harmonized approach leads to organic shapes that emerge as a common theme across the facility. The strategic placement of embankments avoids horizontal surfaces and helps the sport-specific features blend softly into the natural environment. A coherent mixture of height levels with open and elevated areas also helps to create a visually consistent relationship between elements. Accessing the park’s more elevated spaces allows spectators and users to attain a complete overview of the area and enjoy a view of the promenade and the direct connection to the Saale River.
Area: 2.700 m² | Construction budget: €1.050.000 (net) | HOAI working stages: 3-8 | Planned completion: Spring 2022