'Wallcano': Collider Activity Center Competition Entry / Zohar Architects

'Wallcano': Collider Activity Center Competition Entry / Zohar Architects
'Wallcano': Collider Activity Center Competition Entry / Zohar Architects - Image 1 of 31
Courtesy of Zohar Architects

Walltopia, a global leader in the design and manufacturing of artificial climbing walls and grips, organized the Collider Activity Center competition located in Sofia, near the foothills of Mount Vitosha - one of Bulgaria’s most popular tourist destinations. The proposal by Zohar Architects is a 100% climbable structure: a donut-shaped courtyard building informed by the diversity of context. Its volume is extruded using ‘grafts’ of the world’s most famous mountains as formwork to create a patchwork of alpine geo-diversity, with a perfect cast of Abraham Lincoln’s nose from Mount Rushmore prominently positioned to satisfy curious climber fantasies. More images and architects' description after the break.

'Wallcano': Collider Activity Center Competition Entry / Zohar Architects - Image 2 of 31

The programmatic mix combines exercise (climbing walls, fitness center, swimming pool, dance and sports halls) with leisure (spa center, bar, restaurant, and café), and includes a park area with a greenhouse and other outdoor recreational spaces. Covered in a modular and easily transformable ‘Grip Grid’ façade that features climbable Walltopia plexiglass, the grip color, texture, and topography combine to create a product catalog building skin.

'Wallcano': Collider Activity Center Competition Entry / Zohar Architects - Cityscape

The 360° view walkway which caps the building offers an incentive for devoted climbers, with the interior program following a similarly rewarding progression from active to passive. Two scalable entrances mark the transition into the building-a chimney and a cave- with the former continuing into the ground to become the second highest climbing wall in the world. The Wallcano’s central courtyard is an actual 450m² graft of land that is cut from Cherni Vrah- Vitosha’s highest peak- to become the heart of the building. The piece removed is replaced with the mushroom boulder park (a required program which is now proposed off-site) that extends Walltopia’s presence to a tourist hotspot.

'Wallcano': Collider Activity Center Competition Entry / Zohar Architects - Image 4 of 31
buliding and site

Echoing a mountain’s change from hiking trail to ski slope in order to accommodate the seasonal shift, the Wallcano and connected park program similarly transform twice a year. Rather than hibernating program during the colder months, their use is extended through a proposed alternation of summer and winter functionality. During the winter, the flexible grid-grip façade can be changed to incorporate Walltopia dry ice volumes for ice-pick climbing. The pool transforms into a skate park, the beach volleyball court into an ice rink, and other program adapt to the weather and facilitate a diversity of climbing experiences.

'Wallcano': Collider Activity Center Competition Entry / Zohar Architects - Image 5 of 31
Cherni Vrah

A rooftop sauna exhausts geothermally-generated steam through vents in the ceiling as the building joins the Iztok power plant chimneys to become a sustainable addition to Sofia's existing artificial mountain range.

Architects: Zohar Architects (Yuval Zohar)
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Area: 8,000 sqm building program + 3,500 sqm of outdoor park program
Year: 2013

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Cite: Alison Furuto. "'Wallcano': Collider Activity Center Competition Entry / Zohar Architects" 25 Mar 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/346209/wallcano-collider-activity-center-competition-entry-zohar-architects> ISSN 0719-8884

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