Words by René Haack
Photos by René Haack & Ludwig Maier
The town we’re talking about is Lindau (Bodensee) at the Lake of Constance. Located in the deepest south of Germany, next to Austria and Switzerland and at the foot of the Alps. The city officials decided in 2019 to put away the public skatepark for a garden-exhibition in 2021 without a proper replacement.
The old park was average, made of precast elements, so nothing special to mourn after. But this loss was still a big bummer because it was well-known in the region for its premium location on an island next to the old town and just some steps away from the lakeside. It was the main meeting point in our youth til now: a place to skate, to take a swim between the sessions, watching lake sunsets and hang around as long as you want. How can we skate, gather and swim right at the same spot from now on? And what about all the memories connected with this place which helped generations of skaters and friends to survive this tourist-town.
After the city just offered replacements at other locations, Olli Bender (supported by Elena, Chrissi, Philipp and others) decided to set up an association to advocate their demands and insist on a new park where it was and should be again. They gathered all the resources necessary for this plan. After Olli, the driving power, did all the dirty work of talking to the local politicians and persons in charge they found a compromise: the skaters are allowed to build their own park at the same spot again, but it will be on the site of the garden-exhibition. When the exhibition is over, the park will be public. With a fundraiser and support by some local businesses and the garden-exhibition-company the money-problem was also solved. Tun Kintzelè, based in Innsbruck, delivered the proper park-design based on the local skaters desires. The plan was to build this thing as a DIY but supervised by some professionals; maybe some kind of “professional DIY” as was already a subject in this magazine. Oli Bürgin, RJ Salyer and Rohan Anderson joined the project to take care of its development. The first steps of building started in October 2020.
We made a little open bowl section under unfriendly autumn weather conditions. After this first phase, the park got a centerpiece made of precast elements. The city demanded that the park needed to be transportable. But after we started to do our stuff, the people from the garden-exhibition and the landscaping company liked what we had done so far and allowed us to do more of it. The actual transportable proportion of the park was reduced to a minimum. Most of the park won’t be put away again easily without destroying it. The city has different plans than us but we will have a lot of important support. The final phase was in March/April 2021. For one week Oli Bürgin joined us again. This time accompanied by Claudia. Up to ten locals, mainly young skaters, volunteered everyday. The outputs were some organic free form elements and a quarter with a six meter long handmade pool coping. Having perfect weather in this last week of March, we were able to go for the first cold water dips of the year and for some small skate trips. After this perfect summer week in early spring the weather changed drastically and the locals did the last preparations on their own in the middle of a little snowstorm. April can be crazy. But with the help of Fineline Constructions we finished the flat and the park is almost ready for opening. One month later all the builders and helpers came back and gathered for a private opening session. After a competition about the name the park is called “DIY Move Plaza” from now on. There are already serious plans to build a proper bowl, so stay tuned about Lindau.
Thanks to the organizers and heads behind this project Olli, Elena, Chrissi, Philipp; to the volunteers Henry, Dani, Mika, Dani B., Areti, Mika, Lu, Henry, to the family members who brought food/drinks/beer and to all the other locals who showed up to help and I forget to mention. Thanks to Rohan, Oli, RJ, Tun and Claudi for their important work, company and supervision.