Projects: Design Studio
Collider Mountain Activity Centre and Park Concept
This competition sought out winning designs for a state-of-the art Activity Centre for the headquarters of Walltopia, a world leader in manufactured climbing walls. Our design, completed in 2013, showcases Walltopia's innovation and excellence through this dynamic showpiece and its multi-faceted form and functions that bring the mountains closer to home.
The Centre is a metaphoric geological projection, with a bold silhouette on the horizon during the day; and a beautifully lit, fractured silhouette presented in the evening. The design is strikingly reminiscent of a glacial erratic boulder, dragged across the earth, creating the jagged land forms of an amphitheater, outdoor pool, and greenhouse. The "boulder” is positioned carefully as an entry to the Park. The folded surfaces and angular forms are inspired by the fractured state of natural rock. The building is aligned with a north/south site axis and orients views towards the neighbouring Vitosha Mountain. Its black and grey metallic glass surface conveys the mystery of the mountain, while filtering natural light throughout the interiors in a controlled, delicate way. Solar panels are installed on the sloping roof, which leans to the south and east to mitigate solar heat gain. This would maximize energy savings and the energy harnessed can be used to power the building or heat the swimming pool.
All windows and exterior panels are exactly the same dimensions, which further enhances energy efficiency, ease of construction, and capital cost effectiveness. The outdoor climbing wall attached to the building is easily customizable, allowing for a variation of grid patterns. The interior programmed space of the "glacial erratic” is a large, cavernous opening which acts as the focal point, using the core interior walls as a stage for climbing activities.
This themed activity connection in the interior ensures that the adjoining functional aspects like administration space, hallways, restaurants, and underground parking also celebrate the purpose of the building with gently slanted walls which do not disrupt spatial organization or traffic flow. At $11 million, this flexible design would provide Walltopia with a dynamic space to build, create, and evolve over time, with opportunities for future flexibility.
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