World's tallest climbing wall takes shape in Copenhagen
As home to a waste-to-energy power plant topped by an artificial ski slope, while featuring running trails and a rooftop bar, the CopenHill facility in Denmark was already a particularly versatile space. Some finishing touches have now been added to the building facade that will add yet another activity to its repertoire, with the routes now complete on what is claimed to be the tallest climbing wall in the world.
The exterior of the CopenHill building was already eye-catching enough, featuring a facade made up of glass and stacked aluminum bricks. Tasked with creating the relatively narrow column that would be used as the 1,200-square-meter (12,916-sq-ft) climbing surface, international outfit Walltopia had to maintain this unique pattern of blocks and openings, while integrating the necessary structures for a climbing wall.
With a height of 80 m (262 ft), the climbing wall was divided into four pitches, or sections that climbers complete before stopping for a break. These offer climbers differing degrees of difficulty, with the easiest section at the bottom and things becoming harder the higher they go. Sloped edges situated every 20 m (65 ft), meanwhile, offer them a chance to catch their breath.
“It was inspired by natural multi-pitch routes – they usually use naturally formed ledges for pitch endings,” explains Walltopia’s Vasil Sharlanov, member of the design team.
Efforts were made to continue the aesthetic of the facade while also allowing natural light to enter the interior. This called for a careful mix of plexiglass and fiberglass, which was combined with 55 tons of steel to make sure the wall stands up to the unforgiving Scandinavian weather.
Construction was actually completed on the wall back in November, but the team chose to wait for winter to pass before adding the climbing holds. The routes have now been completed, and while the wall was meant to open in the spring just gone, it appears to have been delayed for now. We have reached out to the team and will update this story with an opening date when we get one.