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Kickflip architecture

Conference contribution
Authors Gunnar Almevik
Published in Architectural Inquiries, 24-26 april 2008, Chalmers
Publication year 2008
Published at Department of Conservation
Language sv
Subject categories Cultural Studies


The entrance of Chalmers Architecture is a well known skatespot in Gothenburg, recognized by the levelled curbs in between stairs and ramps with smooth concrete pavement. Chalmers campus offers in all many skateboard terrains and elements like charging platforms, handicap ramps, handrails, bumps and transitions. This appreciation of architecture and appropriation of space by skateboarding was not intended and is probably not even recognized as such by its creators, owners and legitimate users. In my paper I intend to examine how skateboarders appropriate, reinterpret and rewrite architecture and urban space in Gothenburg, from out a theoretical perspective referring to Ian Borden and Adrian Forty. From a discussion on the symbiosis between the skateboarder’s body in performing tricks, the skateboard as a tool and the architecture, I will outline skateboarding in Sweden from the arising in the mid 1970th until present day. The paper involves case studies of skateboarding terrains in Gothenburg, through autopsy and drawings and in contexts presented in Swedish newspapers and skateboard magazines. My inquiry take hold on the purpose built skateparks ‘Skateland’ in Frölunda, ‘Välen’ in Askim and the forthcoming ‘Actionpark’ in Burgårdsparken, as well as the unintended terrains ‘Bananen’ in Landala, ‘Tjernobyl’ in Marieholm and, as mentioned, the entrance of Chalmers Architecture. The results of the study concerns, on the one hand, how the interaction between body, tool and architecture put new demands on intentional skateparks and appropriate new urban terrains, and, on the other hand, how society through urban and architectural planning and public concern for youth activities, sports and leisure act and react upon skateboarders claims on urban space.

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