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Katarzyna Ekwinska - "SLAB - adaptation of an industrial hall into a climbing center".

08 of February '23
Technical data
Type: master's thesis
Year of defense: 2022
Name: "SLAB - adaptation of an industrial hall to a climbing center".
Author: Katarzyna Ekwińska
University: Faculty of Fine Arts, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, faculty: interior architecture

Dr. Grzegorz Maślewski prof. UMK, Aleksandra Truchel

Work submitted for the competition
"Best Interior Diploma 2021/2023".

The project is a comprehensive development of a climbing center equipped with the necessary tools for sport climbing. In addition to the walls for climbing, the project includes general training facilities and a café. The facility meets the requirements for climbing at different levels, allows the organization of competitions, and provides a good meeting place and popularization of the sport; it is a friendly and modern space. The center has been given the name "SLAB,"—one of the climbing formations, and is a combination of the author's passion for climbing and design.

Bulderownia z kamieniem bulderowym

A bouldering room with a bouldering stone

© Katarzyna Ekwinska

With the real boom of sport climbing in recent times, the topic of this work seems very timely. With the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo, where climbing made its debut, the sport is changing its character: from being somewhat niche, it is becoming more popular, and with the growing number of amateurs, the climbing wall industry is developing rapidly. Three separate climbing zones have been separated in the designed hall.

Przekrój A-A z widokiem na ściany do wspinania z liną

A-A cross section with a view of the rope climbing walls

© Katarzyna Ekwińska

Rope climbing walls measuring 12 meters in height constitute the first of them. They are equipped with thirty-eight belaying stations, including fifteen with a self-assurance device. Thanks to its large surface area and highly varied formations, the wall offers the opportunity to bolt a huge number of routes of the most varied degrees of difficulty and character.

Skala trudności bulderów

the difficulty scale of the bouders

© Katarzyna Ekwińska

The second zone is the part for bulder climbing—the bulder room. The walls there reach 4.5 meters in height, and at the base of the walls the project provides for a mattress as protection. This zone is equipped with a difficulty scale for individual bulders. The color of the holds designates the difficulty of a particular bulder, making it easier for climbers visiting the center to find their way around the wall.

Strefa wspinania dla dzieci, przeszkody

climbing zone for children, obstacles

© Katarzyna Ekwińska

In the last zone, Fun Climb walls have been designed—this is a safe, separate area where the youngest will have a chance to make friends with climbing. Climbing routes are in the form of obstacles and differ in character from the traditional ones. The whole takes the shape of a climbing playground. In addition, there is a bulder wall with a height of 3 meters. As an additional attraction, the zone can be accessed by a slide loved by children.

Centralne ujęcie na kawiarnie i wejście

central shot of the cafes and entrance

© Katarzyna Ekwinska

On the first floor also a very important space is the café. It is a place for relaxation and meetings. There are two parts in the design, symbolically separated by color—the first one resembles a traditional café in shape, and the second one is a platform for leisurely spending time.

Podest z biblioteczką

A platform with a bookcase

© Katarzyna Ekwinska

The aforementioned platform is part of a functional cubicle, which includes toilets, a feeding room, a storage room for climbing holds with a separate washing area and a free drinking water intake. The platform itself can at any time take the form of a small stage for various types of lectures. There is also a library with climbing literature.

Rzut boxu funkcjonalnego

functional box projection

© Katarzyna Ekwińska

On the first floor, locker rooms are planned, along with toilets equipped with showers. In the open part we will find a gym area with equipment such as treadmill, bars, stationary bicycle. This place also provides a vantage point over the entire hall, this is of particular importance during sports competitions.

Klatka schodowa


© Katarzyna Ekwińska

The locker rooms and toilets have been dressed with elements referring to climbing, such as climbing holds or graphics from the rock climbing guidebook, and the lockers themselves with original markings—individual valuations from the climbing difficulty scale.

Szatnia damska

women's locker room

© Katarzyna Ekwinska

The author has also prepared a virtual tour of the SLAB project.

Katarzyna EKWIŃSKA

Illustrations: © Author

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