Pink concrete skatepark is a striking urban landmark in the Chihuahuan Desert

A team of architects, landscape designers, sociologists and urban planners came together to create La Duna, a fine example of skatepark architecture on the northern border of Mexico 

Pink concrete skatepark in action
(Image credit: Onnis Luque)

This striking project on the northern edge of Mexico does many things. It's a safe public space; an open air venue for everybody, supporting social inclusion; a valuable destination for the wider area’s skateboarding community, promoting exercise and sports; and an eye-catching piece of skatepark architecture, defined by strong concrete volumes and colourful architecture. Welcome to the pink concrete La Duna Skatepark, created in Ciudad Juárez by a team composed of Francisco Elías of the Elías Group; Valia Wright Sánchez; Eduardo Peón Velázquez; the local university architecture faculty, Facultad de arquitectura de la UNAM; the federal government’s Ministry of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development; and architect and skater Edgar Rico.

The skatepark’s architectural landscape

The project's programme included a skating rink, an administration building and classrooms for workshops. Combining this multifunctional aspect with the region's natural setting, the architecture team drew inspiration from the nearby Samalayuca dunes to create the undulating, organic shapes of the skatepark’s architectural landscape. 

aerial overview of the pink concrete La Duna Skatepark

(Image credit: Onnis Luque)

‘The building was conceived as a cave through which the covered plaza and the skating rink are connected, through a portico that protects the service module, an office and three classrooms, which overlook the lake and can be used together with the square,' say the team. 

A viewing platform on the upper level of the main building offers wide views of the cityscape and the horizon beyond. It also functions as a multipurpose space for events, and an observatory for the skating activities below. Made of colourful, light pink concrete, this example of skatepark architecture is a striking urban landmark, with its curves, slopes and planting, which will mature to provide shading and an important green element. The generous facilities can accomodate up to 5,000 guests. 

‘The team, headed by landscape architects Valia Wright and Eduardo Peón and architect Francisco Elías, also included urban planners and sociologists,’ say the park’s creators. ‘Their main objective was to understand the dynamics of the relationship between the park, the local community and the existing urban environment, at the same time bringing in a bit of the natural context of the Chihuahuan Desert.’

sculptural concrete La Duna skatepark outline

(Image credit: Onnis Luque)

skaters at La Duna pink concrete skatepark

(Image credit: Onnis Luque)

Adults and kids hanging out at thepink concrete La Duna Skatepark

(Image credit: Onnis Luque)

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).

With contributions from