The temporary basketball court is designed in Ilori’s signature bright colours and patterns, with the message ‘Be the best you can be’
Words by Francesca Perry
London-based designer and artist Yinka Ilori has designed a colourful pop-up basketball court in Canary Wharf. The free-to-use space has been specifically designed for the 3×3 style of play, where three on each side compete using one basketball hoop. It is the first basketball court in Canary Wharf, London’s privatised financial centre that continues to see rapid mixed-use development.
As well as Ilori’s signature bold, bright colours and patterns marking the court and surrounding hoardings, the words ‘Be the best you can be’ appear on the court, conceived as an inspirational and encouraging message. As part of the project, Ilori has also designed a limited edition basketball.
Located in Bank Street Park – an open space surrounded by skyscrapers which is typically home to astroturf and seating – the temporary court is due to be open until the end of October. It will host series of activities throughout the summer months, including tournaments, classes, and public events.
‘I have loved this project because this is my first ever basketball court,’ says Ilori. ‘I wanted to give people a space they can come and just enjoy being outdoors and being together again. I love that it’s free to use, creating a feeling of inclusivity and giving somewhere for community to get together.’
He continues: ‘I feel like my project is part of the new Canary Wharf challenging any perceptions of what people might have once had of the area. It is a place that people can live, work, and enjoy whilst experiencing a great fusion of different cultures.’
Photography: Matt Alexander/PA Wire