Over the last year, founder of Frontside Gardens Andrew Willis has quietly developed the site of the old Bangla TV station into a complete skatepark with a minimum of funding and resources. He has made use of a network of personal contacts to build an awareness of materials that are available for re-use and apply his expertise in working with communities and volunteers to build the skate and BMX facilities. The materials re-used for Frontside Gardens have come from many places. A temporary BMX exhibition in Dagenham provided some; top-soil is a readily re-purposed "waste" material Willis has acquired from local landscaping contractors. Simply being able to pick materials up is an important factor in getting hold of them. At times people pay to take "waste" away, while on other occasions an exchange takes place, be it a financial purchase or an in-kind contribution. Frontside Gardens is also an LLDC Interim Use Pilot Project. Leased on a short-term, renewable basis it is designed to test temporary uses that could inform what can be done on some of the vacant sites within Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. In return for using the site, Frontside provides a community facility that develops good working relationships with a range of local groups. The vision for the project is that the skatepark provides an anchor, activating the site while allowing other things to happen alongside it, such as the proposed YouthHUB, which will arrive on the site in the near-future. The YouthHUB will itself make use of re-fitted shipping containers; re-purposed fragments of the Olympic Broadcasting Centre that will nestle alongside the skate ramps and self-built planters.
The reuse map was published as part of THE WICK NEWSPAPER by See Studio in the Summer of 2013
Download the poster here