Washington Market Park basketball gets a rehab — and an immersive mural

The basketball courts at Washington Market Park are getting a facelift (and then some) for free thanks to a sponsorship by the Danish men’s fashion company Les Deux, which has a sporty vibe with a focus on basketball. The stellar graphic design was by their design team with an assist from Danish firm Kongstad Studio, and the actual installation, which started yesterday, is by Project Backboard, a non-profit that renovates public basketball courts and installs large scale works of site-specific art on the surface “in order to strengthen communities and improve park safety.”

The courts will be closed for two weeks for the resurfacing and painting and will open for regular use on Saturday, Sept. 9. The mural will cover the playing surface and also extend up BMCC’s retaining walls on the two sides of the court. (The image below is a similar installation, also by Kongstad, in Florence, Italy.)

On Sept. 8, there will be an official opening at 3:30p, followed by a free basketball clinic for kids at 4p led by Tremaine Dalton, an international basketball trainer, and then a 3-on-3 tournament for pros starting at 5:30p.

Les Deux has stores in Copenhagen, Oslo, Paris and Beymen, Turkey — as far as I can tell nothing in the States.  — but I assume they are launching something here soon, hence the sponsorship of the court.  “We want to celebrate our upcoming office in the US by giving back to the local community, and bring people together through a shared passion,” said Andreas von der Heide, Les Deux’s co-founder.

They do have a kids line called “The Kids of America,” and the fashion shoot clearly took place here (well, it looks like the UWS). So I have to assume this is also a marketing move to engage Tribeca families. They are carried by Nordstrom and will soon be opening in four Bloomingdales locations.

The company was founded in Copenhagen in 2011 by Andreas von der Heide, “a law student from the suburbs,” and Virgil Mwepele, a political refugee from the Congo. From their website: “As the two began talking, one noticed the other’s T-shirt: plain white with military patches sewn on by hand. Two completely different people with two completely different backgrounds met – preppy and urban, creative and entrepreneur – and they had the spark of an idea to build a menswear brand based on this T-shirt.”

The courts were ready for a resurfacing, so whatever their motivation, it’s great they picked Washington Market Park for their campaign.



  1. grateful they chose our neighborhood court and love the new design!

  2. Grateful, but perhaps there were some other courts (neighborhoods) around the city that could have been considered more deserving? Could they simply be trying to promote their select Kids of America brand to a targeted (10013) demographic? Of course they are. 1 Euro equals 1.08 USD. Check out their website. Also, are the court renderings accurate? No Les Deux logos anywhere to be found?