Do you believe in skateboarding?
If a church associates to you with early Sunday morning’s worship, a boring part of tourism attractions or just a historic heritage which is not so relevant these days, it is time to change this approach. La Iglesia Skate (the Skate Church in Spanish) is a proof that a church can be modern and colorful. It can be fun. Especially for those, whose religion is skating.
A historic ancient temple in Llanera, Spain was transformed into unique skate-park-church in the world. An ancient place was turned into a temple to house the passion for skateboarding and to encourage youth culture in an unbelievable location: a church. But let’s tell the story from the very beginning.
Built as part of the complex that once housed and gave services to workers in the explosives factory of Santa Barbara, at the end of the Spanish Civil War when the company closed down, its facilities were abandoned. In 2007, the church was acquired by the international distribution of contemporary furniture, Iniciativas Habitat and the Church Brigade. The precursors of this cultural transformation decided to build a skateboard camp within the church and also host cultural and art exhibitions. The dreamland of all skateboard lovers slowly started to be shaped into a place of concerts and skate championships.
In late 2014, when a young, emerging Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel visited the church he was enchanted by the new interpretation of this ecclesiastical space. He visualized the perfect complement to the spirit of the new Skate Church, and proposed to express this concept by painting on its walls (as it has always been done in churches).
Okuda had an idea to use asymmetric and bright colors that say “it doesn’t matter where you are or what you’re doing, the only important direction is to have your own references to achieve your goals”. This led to think of a DIY project called Kaos Temple which made a Skate Church even more attractive for youths, skaters and tourists. The artist began painting the church in November, 2015 and completed his artwork in seven days.
“The skate church is the place where passion for skateboarding and DIY have reached the sky,” say La Iglesia Skate’s founders. This project represents a transformation and a turning point in art history and history’s art. The idea of a skate church was to open new horizons when it comes to re-think the use of architectural spaces which are more adapted to the nowadays culture. Do I hear you saying “I want to go to church now”?