Hollaway Studio has designed the world’s first purpose-built multi-storey skatepark in Folkestone, UK, as part of a major ongoing programme to regenerate the seaside town. The landmark building features three skateparks, climbing wall (the tallest in the South East of England), and boxing ring, and opens to the public on 4 April 2020.
For Hollaway Studio, F51 is an ‘adrenaline building’. From its initial ambition and conception through to the articulation of its form and architecture and ultimately its end use, F51 is the shot of adrenalin needed by all – from those using it to the local community and the town itself. To create this, Hollaway Studio has designed an imposing concrete beacon shrouded in mesh rising out of the Folkestone Creative Quarter, acting as a focal point within both the local landscape and the community. With its three layers of high quality skateparks, boxing gym, climbing wall, and café space, it is a central hub for youth culture following the year that skateboarding was recognised at Tokyo as an Olympic sport and in advance of Paris 2024, just across the Channel from it.
F51, named after its location in the heart of Folkestone, a burgeoning seaside town in South East Kent, has been commissioned by the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust. The Trust views the skatepark project as a further means to support the local community and has been responsible for much of the ongoing regeneration currently taking place that is transforming and reviving Folkestone. F51 is a gift to Folkestone and the young.
Located on the edge of one of the most deprived wards in Kent, it will offer young locals freedom and the opportunity to push both physical and mental boundaries within a safe space away from screens. In doing so F51 aims to put young people first, conveying to the youth of Folkestone that they are important and have opportunities that may not have been immediately apparent before. Membership for young locals who attend schools in the area, will be offered at a heavily discounted rate making F51 accessible for all of the local community. F51 also aims to attract the large number of locals who moved away and are now returning to bring up their own families and continue the regeneration of Folkestone.
F51 will be managed by The Sports Trust, the Folkestone independent not-for-profit sports charity, previously known as Shepway Sports Trust, established to encourage participation and excellence in sport. The Sports Trust will use the new facility as a base from which to support local clubs, strengthening their connections with primary and secondary schools and encouraging people of all ages to adopt a more active lifestyle.