social spo[r]ts

year: 2012
location: Psáry
size: 4000 m2
client: Culburb
status: competition 

Project Culburb aims to activate the public realm in suburbs of Central European capital cities by minimal means, similar to acupuncture. 

The village of Psary represents a complicated social mix of different people: former (or still active) communists, catholics, middle class families, cottagers, youth and the elderly... What can engage the attention of such diverse people? What can make them use the public space of the village when they can just sit in a car and commute to a city or stay in a private garden?

When searching for the answers and trying to avoid social engeneering, we came to realize that one of the rare common interests of not only the inhabitants of Psary, but the whole Czech nation is sport. Most dads play football, couples do tennis, teenagers enjoy basketball, the elderly spend time with petanque or fishing, and kids just love anything to play with. 

Social spo[r]ts is therefore our answer - places that offer a sport or other entertainment to multiple users. Proposed functions can be combined, duplicated or further adapted by the inhabitants themselves. The spots also include some existing elements (e.g. mingolf field around a tree) and provide the village with specific furniture. The column with a little chapel at Psary's village square is turned into a sun clock and thanks to a hidden audio device it's able to tell not only time, but to inform about name days, weather or local history events as well. 

Social spo[r]ts are visually connected by orange colour of clay as crushed bricks and partly ceramic blocks are used to define their area. This local material can be provided by a brick factory located near Psary as a form of donation or waste disposal.

Social spo[r]ts are located along a natural line that connects the football fields of both Psary and Dolni Jircany - the Zahoransky stream. The spots may appear gradually and, ideally, with time they will get connected by a new pedestrian path, apart from the main road and its traffic.

Social spo[r]ts use the human inborn quality - competitivness - to support the community feeling and public life in the village. We hope that locals would soon start to organize a regular tradition of the Psary multi-event competiton, something that no other village has. Gathering at sport activities and events is the first step so that people meet each other and get interested in the place where they live.