The ‘Transport’ spot at the Riverside Museum in Glasgow came out of a conversation Glasgow Museums had in 2017 with Jamie Blair at Clan Skates. Given they present an exhibit that features Jamie and Colin Kennedy they couldn’t very well pass a ban at the front of their building when issues around skating arose, even less so because the ledges out the front were (rather poorly) designed with skating in mind. The resulting conflict of use at the museum's entrance led them to find a way to welcome skaters that didn’t clash with the general public (You CAN still skate the ledges, just do so when the museum is closed after 5pm)
Following initial discussions Jamie approached Glasgow Urban Sports, a charity that’s been working longterm on developing new terrain in Glasgow, to help formulate some ideas for using the very limited budget available to build more skateable stuff in a less prominent part of the site. With the support of our GUS colleagues Neil Davidson and Angus McPhee and the enthusiastic input of Youngo and the crew at Concreate Skateparks, Raydale Dower and I used our experience as skaters and artists to develop a plan that might make a spot rather than a skatepark. The idea was to make it feel like a legit street spot despite featuring purpose built elements and we did this by trying to modify the museum's existing hard landscaping rather than imposing a ‘facility’ on the site. We wanted to match materials and make the space flow in a way that meant non-skaters might not even register the changes we were making.
The result is a hybrid space for shared use; a mix of public thoroughfare, skate spot, hangout zone and even scenic barbecue location. We wanted it to be a complementary counterpoint to Kelvingrove and it's turned out to be a significant addition to the scene in Glasgow and a draw for visiting skaters too. All this was achieved in a matter of months on a sub £15k budget because we had a willing partner/landowner in Glasgow Museums, a committed and flexible contractor and an innovative yet frugal vision for the site. Hopefully it can act as an inspiration for other local authorities and statutory bodies as it proves you don’t need hundreds of thousands of pounds and years of toil to create something that skaters will enjoy.
Description: Toby Paterson (December 2019)
The Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel,
100 Pointhouse Rd,
Cost to use:
Safety equipment / Helmets required: