What is Southbank?:
The term "Southbank" is the name commonly used to refer to the undercroft of a world renowned art's organisation situated in central London called the Southbank Centre.
Why is the undercroft special to skateboarders?
Among the global skateboarding community this location is legendary and recognised as being the world's oldest and still existing communal place where the art of "street-style" skating is practiced freely. It has been used in this way since the 1970's.
It is also hailed as the birthplace of British skateboarding and is often referred to as the "Mecca of skateboarding", visited by skaters from around the world including world famous professionals such as Tony Hawk, who have been actively supporting its preservation:
Who else uses the space?
Alongside skateboarders, the undercroft space is also highly used by graffiti artists, BMXers, free-runners, break-dancers, photographers, musicians, artists and more.
What makes it unique?
The creative usage of the undercroft is something that has evolved organically and unplanned, without ever needing any funding or corporate involvement in all its 40 years of history.
It is a place that essentially tells the magical story of how a dead space beneath an arts complex has grown to become a hub of creativity, a source of inspiration and entertainment, a meeting place for the youth, a tourist attraction and an iconic cultural London landmark.
Please watch this short film to learn more: