We restored and decorated a public basketball court.
We had the idea of restoring and decorating an existing court for a community and brought it to Les Deux because we thought it would fit right into their Legacy programme. Les Deux is a Danish menswear brand built on a foundation of community and contrasts. Les Deux Legacy is one of their ways of being more than clothing. They have built a school in Turkey close to one of their production facilities, they have supported local Copenhagen basketball clubs and much more. Now they have donated a basketball court to New York’s community too, the legacy programme’s largest project so far. With a goal of being the world’s most impactful lifestyle brand, Les Deux and its team are not people who shy away from big dreams and aspirations.
All this made us think that a project like this would be right up their alley; built on community, wants to be impactful, tied closely to the world of basketball and not afraid of going big.
Fortunately they agreed and we, Kongstad Studio, drove the entire process of finding out how we could create a community court together. We spoke to cities, local council members, parks departments. Once we settled on New York as the location and identified The Washington Market Park Basketball Court as the chosen court we found another partner, Project Backboard, who had the experience and skills to help us realize the project.
The court, which is actually two courts; one full and one half, is located in New York, to be more exact, in Washington Market Park in the Tribeca neighborhood of Manhattan. In addition to its central location the court is nestled between a college with more than 25.000 students and a high school, so it is frequented by a lot of players. That is good because it means it is being used, but it also means wear and tear. Serious wear and tear. Before we started working on the court it was pretty obvious that it had gone through lots and lots of good times playing. The court also missed some critical lines for gameplay, like the 3-point lines.
The court was ready to get some love.
And that is what we gave it. Together with Les Deux’ creative team we designed a court that is full of contrast and has a strong connection to both Les Deux’ visual DNA and values. Values that we support and stand behind. During the refurbishment, we had daily visits from locals who checked up on our progress and who thanked us and cheered us on. One moment we will not forget soon was on a day where the refurbishment was pretty far along. Two young guys, early teens maybe, had passed by a couple of times during the first days of work to try and play, came by again and literally jumped around, pushing each other and screaming with joy from seeing their court nearly finished.
On the opening day, Les Deux donated $2.000 to Asphalt Green, a non profit organization dedicated to promoting a healthy lifestyle for New Yorkers through sport.
Several media outlets has reported on the court, what some of them write can be seen here: Fashion United here and here, Tribeca Citizen, WWD (paywall), The Tribeca Trib, J’N’C (in German).
We are deeply thankful to have been a part of this project and thank everyone who has helped us realize it: Les Deux, Project Backboard, NYC Parks, Friends of Washington Market Park, Washington Market Park staff, Borough of Manhattan Community College, Councilman Christopher Marte and without a doubt countless others.
Here is before and after: