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Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Otro Vassiviere a phosphorescent skatepark is born Part II

Nice ride, but imagine Pedro Barros down there...
OTRO Vassiviere almost finished. Pierre Jambé testing his own work. Photo Mike Van Der Ouderaa
Otro Vassiviere a phosphorescent skatepark is born

By now, everybody knows that after 4 years of gestation and 2 months of labor, the skatepark project OTRO – Vassiviere was finally born. Not opened to the public yet, but already skateable. This skatepark is not really a skatepark but a concrete piece of art in a French island dedicated to creation and expression of innovation. The good thing about the Otro-Vassiviere skatepark is that its opening will coincide with the 7th FOSSJ the first week-end of July. It means there will definitively be champagne flowing in between runs to appease the thirst of the first riders who will discover the new lines of that skateboarding paradise. That’s a good French tradition…

After 4 years of gestation and 2 months of labor, the skatepark project OTRO – Vassiviere was finally born. Photo Pierre Jambé
After we first talked about the Otro project a couple of weeks ago on itsia.tv, we got an incoming amount of request for more information… So, we went to ask Pierre Jambé, one the guys who built the skatepark, how that strange sculpture was born in the middle of nowhere…
pierrejb@agora.eu.org

Interview avec Pierre Jambé / Projet OTRO-Vassiviere
istia.tv: What is your job? Pierre Jambé: I'm a thousand jobs guy, but I'm actually working as a skatepark designer and builder as a main job

istia.tv: Where do you live? Pierre Jambé: I live in Ayacucho, a provincial city at 3.000m altitude in South-Central Peru

Photo Pierre Jambé
istia.tv: Do you have a company? Pierre Jambé: I actually work as an independent. On a mid-term perspective, I'll be creating my own building company named Doctor Skatepark

istia.tv: Apart from building skateparks, what else do you do? Pierre Jambé: I've been teaching English and French in Ayacucho doing translations and working as a tour guide, but at this moment I spend my time designing parks, enjoying family life and skateboarding with my friends when possible.

istia.tv: How many skateparks have you built? Pierre Jambé: I didn't count them, but I think I worked on around 12 parks and public spaces, in Belgium, Germany, France and Peru. I'm starting a skatepark in Lima at this moment.

The Otro Vassiviere rendering.
istia.tv: How were you contacted for the OTRO-Vassiviere project? Pierre Jambé: Vassivière is an Art Center. A group of skaters from Poitiers, named « Barricade » knew about the project of a skateable artwork, and they contacted me as a BRUSK team member, and various people from BRUSK worked on the project (Mike Van Der Ouderaa, Benoit Moureau, Stéphane Thonnard).

istia.tv: Who are all those people that participated in the project? Pierre Jambé: Many people have been working on the project, which was quite complicated, administratively. The author, Koo Jeong-A, made some drawings and sketches, then we tried to figure how that could be made skateable, we met several times with her to get a satisfactory result, then the architects (Lescaut Architecture – François Litchlé) worked on a 3d and set up the technical aspects with an engineer office (Ney + Partners). The construction has been held by various companies too, but the main work was by Flacassier S.A. Former BRUSK member Mike (Concrete Flow) was in charge of the concrete work. He invited me to fly from Peru in order to join him. We're old friends and we had a great time and collaboration.

istia.tv: Why is the Vassiviere skatepark named OTRO? Pierre Jambé: Sorry, I have no idea, hahaha, you'd have to ask Koo, the author of the project...


istia.tv: What is the official name of the skatepark, OTRO or Vassiviere? Pierre Jambé: The name of the piece of art is OTRO. Vassivière is the name of the location.

istia.tv: Who got the idea of the phosphorescent coating? Pierre Jambé: That's also from Koo. The whole bowl will be painted with phosphorescent painting. I'm curious about the result. No idea if it will work or make it skateable at night...

istia.tv: It took a lot of years for the project to be completed. Why?
Pierre Jambé:
The project had many administrative aspects. It took a long time because of the financial point of view: the piece of art was more expensive than the others you can find on the island, so they had to find money. The region collaborated to the project, implying that it had to be a public infrastructure and give some return, like events, and so.

istia.tv: When did you first met Koo Jeong-A? Pierre Jambé: The Art Center regularly invites artists for exhibitions, then they're asked to leave a monumental piece of art on the island. I met Koo during her exhibition.

istia.tv: The design seems very compact. Isn’t it very difficult to skate? Pierre Jambé: OTRO is a skateable piece of art, not a skatepark. It means that it doesn't fit to your idea of a regular bowl/park. I couldn't skate it finished, but I think it’ll have great sessions. All-round skaters welcome!

istia.tv: Why did you not include coping and tiles? Pierre Jambé: All that kind of decisions were from Koo's. She has her own criteria, and thought that metal coping would fit better than concrete pool coping. There's coping on all edges, even on the side of the cradle!

istia.tv: The cradle is a very trendy feature. Is it very useful? Pierre Jambé: Once again, you should get in touch with Koo and ask her. I think that for her it's a whole different experience than for me as a skater. The great thing about this cradle is that it’s flat and will create special carving lines; I think it will be possible to do a kind of a double over-vert carving line in the cradle.

istia.tv: Where are the over-vert walls? Pierre Jambé: OTRO has two over-vert walls on the sides of the cradle. They're both great walls, one is a hip, the other is a corner, I'm sad I couldn't skate them!

istia.tv: How long did it take you to finish the skatepark? Pierre Jambé: The work was very special, because it involved non-skaters companies. The digging and iron bars work took a bunch of time, and when, Mike and I, got on the work, we had a terrible weather for more than a month! It took us two months to pour the whole concrete.

istia.tv: There is a lot of difference between the pristine skateparks in the US and the tagged European skateparks. Are you gonna let the people self-express their though on that awesome phosphorescent concrete? Pierre Jambé: It depends on the architects and city authorities. Some parks have been cleaned with high-pressure water machines every time there was a tag, and the concrete got so rough that the park cannot be enjoyed anymore. In some other cases, artists are invited to paint the place, as on the Ursulines Square in Brussels. I don't think Koo would like to see OTRO tagged...

istia.tv: Something else ? Pierre Jambé: A million thanks to Mike from Concrete Flow, who took all the responsibilities on the project when I left Belgium and invited me as recognition of my former work. Thanks to the BRUSK team, check out www.brusk.be! Cheers to Barricade, we owe them all on this project. A salute to all the people who worked on the project, François, the two Nicolas and all the Flacassier team, and to the people of the Art Center. Mike's works on concreteflow.be and mine on pierrejb.agora.eu.org/doctorskatepark !

Background information:

- Vassiviere Skateparl isTia.Tv 

More information:

- Doctor Skatepark
- Adress Centre International d'Arte et du Paysage Île de Vassivière (fr), région Limousin, France;
- Client: Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication / Conseil Régional du Limousin
- Auteur of the project: Koo Jeong-A;
- Coordination et faisabilité:
Lescaut Architecture;
- Consultants structure
: Ney+ Partners;
- Traduction skateboard:
Collectif BRUSK (Be), Barricade (Fr);
- Traduction sur chantier: Concrete Flow/Doctor Skatepark



Intervention de Doctor Skatepark (Pierre) et Concrete Flow (Mike): semaine 6


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