The House Of Vans (snapshots) #TheZineUK team hit #houseofvans when it opened in London on Saturday 9th August. Embracing skateboarding, BMX and street culture/style, its a platform to engage and express. We totally recommend it for a day out, and within two weekends is has become a destination for athletes, creators and aural/visual enthusiasms.
The concrete bowl is skater built and lit, excitingly, taking these sports seriously as both enjoyable and and valuable. “Off The Wall” and on the pulse, in spirit – there is a VansLab artist incubator space, events, cinema, a live music venue and even creative courses. The House Of Vans is for and of the people;
@HouseOfVansLDN : “Open to all, and always free, this is your house”
There’s a skate park, but so much more from a global phenomenom of a brand that has unite the planet’s sport, art, music, cultures and generations since 1966. The mix of visitors we rubbed shoulders with ranged from seasoned to toddlers.
Skaters, families, activists, rad DJs, bands, The Red Bull BMX tour and more are calling in and hanging out. We saw cool kids smashing it with their moves in the skatepark which spectators could watch from the side or on a screen.
There is a restaurant, some bar, a music venue, merchandise and loads of activity from pop up clothing stalls and art exhibition to DIY creativity, hair, nails and even a giant screen. Basically, below Waterloo Station you are stepping into another world.
A walk/skate away, South Bank Skatepark at The Undercroft (home of the original South Bank Skatepark since the 1970s) has been under the same threat of cultural vandalism by “developers” that is eroding British heritage. The social inclusion and outstanding athletisism of these cultural treasures are a great ambassador of our people. There were several ‘Save The Southbank’ t shirts in evidence at The House Of Vans when we visited.
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London spoke about the (threatened by developers) South Bank; “The skatepark is the epicentre of UK skateboarding and is part of the cultural fabric of London. It attracts tourists from across the world and undoubtedly adds to the vibrancy of the area – it helps to make London the great city it is”. Southbank Centre have now said that it is making a final search for “concrete and practical alternative ideas for funding the works” over the next three months with the Mayor’s Office, Lambeth Council and the skateboarders. However, Paul Richards, who works with the Long Live South Bank campaign against the movement of Undercroft, has said they have “not been approached by Southbank Centre at all
(From The Telegraph Newspaper, February 2014)
You don’t have to be a skater to enjoy The House Of Vans. I (Caffy) speak from experience. Not only is there so much educational and sporting potential, but it is already a European mecca for big names from many fields of talent. Along with the colourful, nearby time-warp street, Lower Marsh, “Skatebank” is a treasure of London SE1. The House Of Vans is helping to spread positivity. We need all we can get right now. http://houseofvanslondon.com/
The House Of Vans, 228-232 Station Approach Rd, SE1. Open Wednesday & Thursday 4-10pm, Friday 12-10pm, Saturday 10am to 10pm, Sunday 10am to 6pm. From Waterloo Station it’s Platform 1 side of the station to exit, then just turn right and walk to the bottom of the road.