- Steep Rock Bouldering
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When Steep Rock Bouldering owner Michael Cesari came to us with his location for his second gym, we were more than psyched. SRB West as it would be called, was targeting a beautiful building around Columbia University, where the exterior featured a full glass facade. Unlike his original location which features a shotgun-style exterior where little is seen by passers-by, Vertical Solutions had to create something that would be on public display for 24 hours a day. The challenges of this, plus a multi-floor design, efficient use of space and New York City logistics in general make this project an absolute stand-out and something we are all proud of. Just as impressive is how Cesari worked with the VS design team to maintain the authenticity of the original facility while still branching out into new territory. Featuring 2700 sq.ft. of climbing overall using MLM design and construction exclusively, this is no minor project. Take a closer look to see how all the details are seamless, something critical to a project with this many eyes on it.
Steep Rock Bouldering - West: Probably the most striking angle of the gym, the first thing your eye is drawn to upon turning the corner to the lower bouldering area is the massive cave positioned with an exterior view of bustling New York City directly behind; elevated train and all.
Steep Rock Bouldering - West: The building Michael Cesari chose for expanding his bouldering gym brand is an incredibly bright and airy location in the Columbia University area. It has two entire walls of exterior windows and substantial clear-height to create a dramatic and open feeling upon entering.
Steep Rock Bouldering - West: A closer look at the various MLM-build climbing walls that make up the massive cave. Both sides are safely climbable as you would expect, although designing in correct fall zones was a crucial challenge that we overcame.
Steep Rock Bouldering - West: The south side exterior wall of the nine-story Columbia University building, which has a phenomenal view of the ground-floor climbing within. The climbing wall design was purposely positioned to be looked at both from climbers inside and passers-by outside.
Steep Rock Bouldering - West: A backside view of the immense cave featured on the ground floor of bouldering. As with the main side, intricate and seamless hardwood features were carried through.
Steep Rock Bouldering - West: Not to be forgotten is the second floor of bouldering on a mezzanine where you can still fill connected to the action below. This increased his climber capacity without breaking the bank on adding physical floor area.
Steep Rock Bouldering - West: The end cap of the bouldering walls upstairs on the mezzanine. While the height of this section is limited to one-story, Steep Rock Bouldering is already known for its creative walls using single-story height throughout the entirety of its original location on the Upper East Side.
Steep Rock Bouldering - West: One more angle of the mezzanine bouldering walls upstairs. A hardwood stripe was carried from beginning to end, visually accenting the space.
Steep Rock Bouldering - West: Looking from the mezzanine downstairs at the backside of the bouldering cave below. Owner Michael Cesari wanted to carry his bouldering-specific brand's authenticity over to this new location while simultaneously creating something visually stunning from the outside to make use of the buildings impressive glass exterior.
Steep Rock Bouldering - West: Looking up from the underside of the fully climbable cave, and your choice of problems leading to/from both sides.
Steep Rock Bouldering - West: Even in a tight space you can still incorporate room for training systems, as seen here where the backside of the lower bouldering area was designed to accommodate exactly that.
Steep Rock Bouldering - West: Looking through the cave from the backside, you can get a feel for how well-lit this facility is, as compared to the challenge owner Cesari had creating this at his original location.
Steep Rock Bouldering - West: Another view of looking west down the full length of the indoor climbing gym. Choosing a building such as this one owned by Columbia University, nothing short of a stand-out project would be acceptable by Vertical Solutions standards since almost all of our work is on-display 24/7 to the public.
Steep Rock Bouldering - West: Six unique facets join together here on this bouldering cave detail. It takes a tremendous amount of work ahead of time by our designers to ensure that when their work gets manufactured and installed with a fabricated structure, it comes together seamlessly onsite just like it did here.
Steep Rock Bouldering - West: A perpendicular view to the lower bouldering wall which gives you a clear view of the hardwood details designed-in to carry over from each facet to the next.
Steep Rock Bouldering - West: The length of this lower bouldering area is impressive even before you consider how much capacity the cave and backside also add for indoor climbers. Two hardwood stripe details carry the entire length of the walls and help accentuate the climbing wall features.
Steep Rock Bouldering - West: It would have been easy to come into this space and pursue the need to maximize the climbing square footage, but that wouldn't have been authentic to the Steep Rock Bouldering brand that Michael Cesari created. Instead, together with Vertical Solutions, he created a project that was stunning enough to be put on display in New York City and maintain his devotion to the climbing community simultaneously.
Steep Rock Bouldering - West: As with the original indoor climbing gym on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, this Columbia University location carries the brand's love for hardwood details throughout the entry and check-in desk as well as accent features like storage, benches and even table tennis.
Steep Rock Bouldering - West: Looking just over to the left when you enter gives the climber a quick view of what to expect once they throw on their shoes and get to work. Including the locker room and gym floors, this facility actually has four floors of space in-all.
Steep Rock Bouldering - West: Creating an indoor climbing gym in an architecturally-stunning building such as this one has its challenges to compliment the inherent design. Vertical Solutions worked with owner Cesari to keep a partial view of the climbing wall structure visible to play-off the visible framework of the glass facade.