Architecture & Design
Opened January 2017
2.330 sqm indoor + 620 sqm outdoor skatepark
Architects: DARK Arkitekter
Landscape architect: Rambøll
Material: 55HX® of 2 mm thickness, anodized in gold, black and natural and perforated in Morse code
Skateboarding was banned in Norway on 1 September 1978, because it was considered too dangerous. When the ban was lifted in 1989, interest in skateboarding exploded. It still took another 28 years for Oslo to have its own custom-designed skatepark. Today, Oslo Skatepark is a meeting place for all skaters, young and old(er), welcoming all sub-types of the sport – street, bowl and vert* – in both an indoor and outdoor arena.
Architecturally, the building is also really ‘rad’*. The skate hall is reflecting the “elements and movements of skateboarding”, not with lines and swirls, but with an articulated shape with contrasts between open and closed fields. The building is composed of two interlocking volumes, one light and one dark, being inclined in opposite directions. This creates dynamics and motion and a good interaction in the landscape. Cantilevers create a shelter over the entrance and outdoor seating area.
“The interaction of the building with the outdoor venues and park is symbolic of the interaction between different generations of users, both performers and spectators,” says Arne Reisegg Myklestad of DARK Arkitekter.
The façades are of perforated metal, emphasizing the contrast of closed wall sections and glazed areas. Perforated aluminum sheets in dark and light grey covers the façades. These aluminum sheets were anodized in gold, black and natural and are ornamented with a pattern of Morse code symbols. The Morse code is a transcript of the 1978 law forbidding the use, sale and advertising of skateboards.
“As a tribute to Norway’s weird skateboarding history, we chose to write the old legal paragraph that banned skateboarding in Morse code in the aluminum façade. Not that many people can read Morse code, but we find it a funny touch,” Myklestad says.
To make this ambitious project true, DARK Arkitekter chose to use ALVANCE Aluminium Duffel 55HX® sheets. “We needed stylish and clean material on which the Morse code could be printed. 55HX® was a natural choice: it has a great look, it is a light and durable material and the Morse pattern is clearly legible on it.”
Skating is back at full force at Oslo. It’s alive and kicking, but its history will never be forgotten, because set in aluminum. Oslo Skatehall is a sick* skatepark. Whether you’re a (professional) skater or an occasional visitor, you will always feel stoked*: be it by the thrill of the sport, a perfect clean* or simply the beauty of the interior and exterior architecture.
*Skate culture slang
Street – skating on streets, curbs, benches, handrails or other elements typically found in urban and suburban landscapes
Bowl – skating in concrete or wood bowls
Vert – skating on ramps and other vertical structures
Stoked – enthusiastically like something or feel really excited
Rad – something really cool / synonym of sick
Sick – really cool / synonym of rad
Clean – a perfect landing