Vans has taken over the Old Vic Tunnels at London Waterloo, converting them into an indoor skate park and arts venue
Beneath Waterloo station – one of the busiest train stations in London – lies the Old Vic Tunnels. In 2009, the former railway tunnels were transformed into a performance art space by the Old Vic Theatre. Now, Vans has taken over the 30,000 sq ft. space to create its second location for the House of Vans.
The original House of Vans in Greenpoint features a skate park and a music hall, as does the new opening in London. But Vans decided to extend the offerings for its second venture. Along with an 850-capacity music venue and London’s first permanent indoor skate park, it will also house a cinema, two bars, a gallery with regular exhibitions and an artists’ lab.
This is a place where creativity can live and be fostered. There are four studios that are free to use for new and established artists for temporary tenancies, which will result in exhibitions at the gallery. Those artists will also host workshops to encourage involvement from the local community.
Karl Heinz Salzburger, Vice President of VF Corporation, the corporation that owns Vans said in a statement:
We’re extremely proud to have opened House of Vans in London this summer. Having such iconic space in a city synonymous with creativity is a great asset to a brand with its foundations in skateboarding and creative culture. In turn, we hope House of Vans London will prove to be a great asset to the citizens of London and beyond.
In Europe, Vans is often thought of as simply a sports brand, but the idea of House of Vans was to realise the brand’s ethos of championing creativity through a non-retail space.
“Since 1966 Vans has been adopted by youth culture, and for us, this means the mix of art, music, fashion and action sports embraced by the communities who’ve worn Vans since day one,” Jan Van Leeuwen, GM/VP of Vans says in a statement. “With our investment in the house of vans and the activations planned, we bring all of our cultural pillars to life and under one roof, showcasing our commitment to the brand promise; to support and nurture creative expression.”
[h/t] Creative Review