‘A wild triple-decker sandwich’: world’s first multistorey skatepark lands in Folkestone

The Kent town just became the kickflip capital of Britain – with a little help from Saga. Our writer gets some vert at F51, the swooping, looping, wheel-rattling £17m extravaganza A great aluminium ark has landed in the centre of Folkestone, like some futuristic container ship run aground. Its steeply sloping sides are covered with a skin of crushed metal mesh that wraps the hulking vessel from blank stern to flaring prow, punctuated only by a few triangular windows. There’s no hint of what it might contain – until you get closer and see big bowl-like shapes bulging down from the ceiling and bursting into the glass facade above the entrance. Step inside and you find yourself beneath a billowing cloud of concrete that ripples and swells with the unmistakable undulations of a skatepark, as the sound of speeding wheels rattles overhead. “We were originally asked to design a multistorey car park,” says Guy Hollaway, architect of F51, as this gleaming arrival to the Kent seaside town is known. “But when a nearby skatepark had to be relocated we were asked to incorporate it into the design. The client increasingly thought the cars looked boring, so we got rid of them and made the world’s first multistorey skatepark instead. Continue reading...

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