Sports, Fashion and Design became the "Pas du trois" that gave birth to this amazing recreational masterpiece. The Pigalle Playground as it is most popularly known is a creative space that shatters the stereotypical labels by exploring the relationships between sport, art and culture. Perfectly positioned between Parisian flats on 22 rue Duperré, this basketball court breaks the necks of those that pass by. The collaborative nature of this project forced each of the parties involved to stretch their perceptions, bend the rules and force everyone to rethink the way they do things.
The court was originally designed by Ill-Studio and Pigallle founder Stephane Ashpool in 2009 when they decided to give the neighbourhood a fresh new gathering place. As a designer and avid basketball enthusiast the project fed directly into Stéphane Ashpool’s affinity for both on-court and off-court basketball aesthetics. The biggest challenge expressed by ill studio co-founder, Thomas Subreville, was to create a functional artwork respecting the rules inherent to the basketball.
In 2015 the pair made the first renovations to the court when Ill-Studio took inspiration from a 1930s artwork called Sportsmen by Russian artist Kasimir Malevich – a boldly coloured oil painting that depicts four figures stood side by side. They were attracted to the subjects of the painting, but also the strong colours and graphic composition that matched the direction that they had in mind.
The most recent renovations took place this year when they brought Nike on board as a sponsor to reveal the dashing new face-lift with a sunset colour scheme – Pigalle and Ill-Studio called it their "interpretation of the future aesthetics of basketball and sport in general." This new design aims at celebrating humans and its physical evolutions towards the future. the creative teams goal was to explore and express the emergence that sports, art and culture has as a powerful socio-cultural indicator of a period in time.
The court is fully functional and open to the public and sees many travelers attracted to the district in Paris. Stephane Ashpool himself also coaches a youth side at the court and independently organizes a tournament every year on this court to promote the holistic values that sports help develop.