We attempt to combine sport, art and design

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Charleroi in the sky

Roux basketball court. The inauguration day

Charleroi 2022

In 2022, we conducted in Charleroi a tremendous project called Charleroi in the sky. We implemented 5 artworks on 5 outdoor sport courts in 3 different districts: Gilly, Roux and Marcinelle. This project was made in 3 months. The goal was to offer to the population the best quality of equipments and artworks. It’s important for the basketball players that the artwork on the basketball floor do not affect their attention. On all courts, we installed flexible hoops, polyester nets. And on some courts, we implemented plexiglass backboards. After review, no-one around the world did that within this timing.

We would like to thank Mr Karim Chaïbaï, the politician in charge of sport in Charleroi, and his team including Mr. Antonio Scavuzzo for their support. The burgomaster, Paul Magnette, for his collaboration. All the Charleroi city departments, particularly the event workforce for the close interaction and their reactivity. And last but not least, our paint provider, Victoria paint, who were reactive and open to all our requests. It’s rare to meet this kind of people. This firm produced locally in Charleroi a paint specifically made for us (outdoor basketball floors). In addition, this producer paid attention to the environment by using a maximum of water in the painting components. 

We were amazed by the welcome of the Charleroi city population.To illustrate our work environment, let us tell you a story. During a work day, one of our partners, Cedric Tibermont, asked us at what time we’ll leave the workplace. We answered around 19:00. We were in rush because it was the first basketball court in Roux that we had to finish before the first streetball tournament.

He made sure by phone that we’ll stay until this time. He didn’t tell us why. At the end of the day, when we were put our stuff away, we saw him, his kid and his wife. They came to offer us some foods in order that we eat all together. It represents the personality of the inhabitants of this city.

Charleroi is welcoming. We met warm people.

Roux basketball court before our work

The fans, visitors and media were really impressed by our work as you can see in this RTBF television news, the main public television channel in the french part of Belgium.  This report was made by the journalist Mrs Sofia Cotsoglou and her team. They collected the opinion of all the stakeholders of this project.

You can find hereunder, the photo gallery of all the outdoor sport infrastructures that we set up and beautified in Charleroi. The difference between before and after our work is incredible. The pictures were taken by Sebastien Nagy, Rayane Huart and the firm Ad drone. Enjoy !

Playgrounds beautified into artworks in Charleroi

Roux - 10/12 Liberté st.

The first outdoor basketball court that we set up was in homage to Kobe Bryant, one of the best basketball players in NBA history. His nickname was “black mamba”. It represented his mindset. He was well known to be talented, decisive during the games but also a hard worker. The colors that we used to beautify the court refers to the Los Angeles Lakers, the nba franchise where he plaid during his whole professional career.

The design was a collaboration of Dema (CNN199) and Mehdiball. The “black mamba” drawing was made by Dema. The floor repairing and the whole design application was conducted by the bball in the sky team composed by Daouda Kouyate, Boban Nicic and Mehdi

This is the first basketball court in Belgium in tribute to this star. It’s located in Roux, one of the Charleroi districts populated by 9.182 individuals and stretched over 5,46 km2. As you can observe on the pictures, the court was totally abandoned. It was the most difficult building site that we handled for few reasons: the timing (1), the state of the floor (2) and the backboards (3).

Gilly 16-18 Wautelet st.

The second outdoor basketball court that we implemented is located in Gilly, another Charleroi district. We decided to beautify this 3×3 court with pastel colors through broken lines. The pink and the yellow colors contrast peacefully with the dominating green colors. We used these shades to integrate our artwork in the widely environment. As you can observe in the areal pics, this sport court is surrounding by the natural green environment of this area.

We love simplicity in order not to disturb the basketball players attention. According to us, the sport fonction prevails over the art. The colors have to accompany the players’ mouvement. The work process was supervised by Dema.

Gilly is a bigger town than Roux. It stretches over 7.30 km2 and populated by around 19.500 inhabitants. The area where we implemented the sport infrastructure was managed by the TEC, the Wallonia public transport company. However, the land still a Charleroi city property.

We are very proud of this project because we start from nothing. We had to take into account several significant variables such as the field area, the position of the backboard, the backboard position regarding the sun position and rotation.  We would like to thank again the neighbors for their welcome. They gave us notably water and work instruments. Their smile is priceless.

Marcinelle - 1 Asie st.

This site was our third stage in our work process in Charleroi. We faced several difficulties: the basketball and the tennis courts were abandoned, the area was important (around 700 m2), the basketball backboards and hoops looked unuseful and the floor was too permeable to paints. To get around it, we adopted the following strategy. We started with the refreshment of the basketball court. We cleaned as much as we could the floor in order to put the primary coat of painting. We used 10 pots of the primary coat of painting only for one court, as you can observe on one of the picture on the left.  

Despite the presence of the indoor sport center and the mini pitch in this neighborhood, it was necessary to refresh these both outdoor courts. Regarding the location in a workers’ housing development composed by building blocs and few pavillons, it was important to offer these free sport infrastructures with free access 24/7, and particularly a tennis court, which is considered as a physical activity for upper classes.

Marcinelle - Belle-vue, fraternité esplanade

The Belle-vue streetball playground is the most popular in Charleroi. Surrounded by buildings, houses and a mix of social categories, this court welcome the best players of Charleroi. During the summer, it’s usual to watch players from D1 and D2 play against other on half court. Its access is facilitated by its proximity with the main train station, freeways and a large parking spot.

We did our best to set up a magnificent artwork on the existent floor, new plexiglass backboards, flexible hoops, polyester nets and foam rubbers for backboards. These sport infrastructures were established by Idema, a firm specialized in this sector. To highlight this location, we organized the finals of our official 3×3 streetball tournament (men, U18 boys and girls) and a dunk contest. The winners get 1.000,00 € cash. The MVP received a city trip for Casablanca (Morocco) and the kids won new basketball shoes.

Marcinelle is the second biggest town in Charleroi with around 24.000 inhabitants (+/- 1.770 people/km2) and stretches over 13,16 km2. Its name, Marcinelle, comes from the drawing style used notably for the famous Spirou comics.