At small climbing centers, regular visitors can quickly exhaust all the available runs. At a new facility in the US city of Austin, Texas, which is said to be the world's largest bouldering center, climbing sections are rotated twice a week to create new runs.
Work on the Austin Bouldering Project began in June 2013, with the removal of steel shelving left in the space by the previous tenant. The facility is part of a larger 200,000 sq ft (18,581 sq m) mixed-use development that is home to a juice bar, a theater and a cidery, with several other businesses reportedly due to open this year.
UPGRADE TO NEW ATLAS PLUS
More than 1,200 New Atlas Plus subscribers directly support our journalism, and get access to our premium ad-free site and email newsletter. Join them for just US$19 a year.UPGRADE
Designed by by Dylan Johnson of DJA Architects, the climbing facility covers an area of 50,000 sq ft (4,645 sq m). Its interior was designed by Lilianne Steckel Interior Design and executed by LaBelle Construction. The climbing walls were custom designed and built in-house with the help of LaBelle Construction.
There are about 23,000 sq ft (2,137 sq m) of climbing surfaces, which provide 250-300 bouldering problems and routes. By rotating these in sections twice every week, it is possible to keep offering visitors new tests. It takes 5-6 weeks to get through all of the possible configurations, before they start again.
"We definitely designed our walls completely different than every other climbing gym," owner and manager Zach Olschwanger tells Gizmag. "We also incorporate heavy use of volumes, different sizes and shapes of wood that can attach and detach from the wall and serve as extensions of the walls themselves."
The facility also houses a gym, a yoga studio and a fitness studio. There's a mezzanine with an informal coworking space and a lounge, as well as locker rooms with showers and saunas.
The Austin Bouldering Project opened for business at the end of November last year. An adult day-pass costs US$16.
Source: Austin Bouldering ProjectView gallery - 7 images