Urban sports: scaling the city

Buildings can make excellent sports apparatus. Running, climbing, sliding, jumping, balancing – they have a lot to offer athletes and amateurs alike.

Running together

The design by Peter Pichler Architecture was the runaway winner. The residential units in the Looping Towers are dynamically connected with a running track on the roof. Once it’s completed in 2020, the track in Maarssen near Utrecht promises to be popular with athletic tenants.

Peter Pichler Architecture (Simulation)

Pitch with a view

One of Tokyo’s busiest train stations is an unlikely spot for a kickabout. All the more so as this football pitch sits on a rooftop, offering footy addicts a breathtaking view of the Shibuya district. Adidas Futsal Park was opened in 2001 in the run-up to the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

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Over the edge

Perched on the edge of the roof, you just need to pluck up the courage to lean forward and suddenly you’re standing horizontally on the side of the building. House running is the latest craze in big cities. Whether you choose to sprint or saunter, opportunities to partake are cropping up in cities everywhere.


Infinite depth

High above the urban canyons of Los Angeles, a glass tunnel runs along a 71st-floor façade. The Skyslide at the US Bank Tower, 633 West 5th Street is suspended at 300 metres altitude and not for the faint-hearted. With a glass bottom three centimetres thick, this spectacular ride delivers sporty thrills.

Richard Vogel/dpa

Sacred skating 

The abandoned Santa Barbara church in the Spanish community of Llanera in Asturias was brought back to life with a new indoor skate park. An artist gave the walls and ceiling of the luminous new Kaos Temple a colourful makeover using geometric figures. A special place for skateboard enthusiasts.

Luis Vidales/Red Bull Content Pool

Bouldering in the city

Urban climbers use buildings, bridges and walls as sports apparatus. Buildering is their passion. The mix of structures and materials used in buildings is especially appealing. A good example is a colourful illusion painting from 2004 in the harbour city of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, Canada.

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Title image: mauritius images

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