Climb your dormitory

Arons & Gelauff - Dormitory, Enschede (Copyright Jeroen Musch)
Arons & Gelauff Architects – Dormitory, Enschede (Copyright Jeroen Musch)

Arons & Gelauff Architects send me photographs of their recently finished dormitory building in Enschede, a city in the east of the Netherlands. One of the sides of the nine story building features a climbing wall. According to the architect it is the second highest one in the Netherlands.

The addition of the climbing wall is a response to the context of the building. Positioned right next to sports fields, with the wall the building literally absorbs the sports onto its body. The specifications of the wall: 30 meters high, 2500 grips.

“It was a gift from the client to the inhabitants of the campus, because the university of Enschede has a very active and successful mountaineering club — however paradoxical that may sound in the flat Netherlands”, Arons & Gelauff Architects write, “As a climber in the Netherlands, one anyway has to resort to artificially created training spots, so why not combine architecture and climbing wall?”

I suppose the sounds of the climbers right next to the room where you might do your studying might cause some annoyance. However, the idea to combine to combine a climbing wall with building is brilliant. If sound proves to be an issue, it would still be possible to equip for instance an office building with such a wall. The sports could simply start off when the work is finished.

The grips on the wall could evolve into a signage of a healthy (because sporty) working environment. Climbing could turn into our number one sports, when the majority of the buildings would support it. New York would switch from being a city to work in to a city for sports. A leisure city.

Arons & Gelauff Architects is not the first to attach grips to a building. Ten years ago NL Architects turned their Wos 8 powerstation in Utrecht into a vehicle for climbing. The grips on their design spell out ‘Wos 8’ in Braille.

 

Arons & Gelauff - Dormitory, Enschede (Copyright Jeroen Musch)
Arons & Gelauff Architects – Dormitory, Enschede (Copyright Jeroen Musch)

 

Arons & Gelauff - Dormitory, Enschede (Copyright Jeroen Musch)
Arons & Gelauff Architects – Dormitory, Enschede (Copyright Jeroen Musch)

 

Arons & Gelauff - Dormitory, Enschede (Copyright Jeroen Musch)
Arons & Gelauff Architects – Dormitory, Enschede (Copyright Jeroen Musch)

 

Arons & Gelauff - Dormitory, Enschede (Copyright Jeroen Musch)
Arons & Gelauff Architects – Dormitory, Enschede (Copyright Jeroen Musch)

Related: It is also imaginable to climb an iced façade.

10 Comments

I am thinking that someone is going to try and climb this without using a harness and plummet to their death. I smell a lawsuit waiting to happen.

I don’t believe that will happen, the lawsuit I mean. A warning sign should be enough. There is obviously a danger that the wall provides an invitation for undesirable use, but so do a lot of other things.

Maybe the architects should design the lowest part of the climbing wall in such way that untrained students are not able to climb it.

great idea! I just think the students are going to get crazy and swing their ropes and climb on peoples windows. But that again is fun.

“Maybe the architects should design the lowest part of the climbing wall in such way that untrained students are not able to climb it.”

Like put a bunch of books at the base? That will keep ’em away!

If you look with attention, the lowest part in the wall is protected by a fence, that proibes the untrained people to acess. I think this is enough!

A lawsuit? I guess not! Not in this side of the atlantic!
And yes, students might actually get annoyed with the noise disturbance… if only they didn’t have all those parties by night next door!

It’s looks cool, fun, smart and simple enough to me!

“If you look with attention, the lowest part in the wall is protected by a fence, that proibes the untrained people to acess. I think this is enough!”

Anyone capable of climbing that wall will have little difficulty with a fence. That’s like protecting a pool with a moat.

If you grasp a handle on alcohol or weed it should just come out of the wall by itself. That´ll keep them away. I think you could crawl under that fence 😉

Not everyone is as sue happy as Americans are. In The Netherlands liability is placed where it belongs…on the person making the bad decision.

Awesome idea. Glad to see more climbing in the NL. 🙂 There certainly aren’t any real mountains to climb LOL.

It occurs to me to wonder whether the holds can be changed. I can imagine becoming somewhat bored w. the same few routes over time. Glad to hear the Netherlands doesn’t have the same crazy liability issues we in the U.S. do.

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