Berkeley, California 2022
When the Berkeley Market vacated this building in 2008 our firm was hired to prepare plans to upgrade the building. The project involved exposing the beautiful wood ceiling, a full seismic upgrade, and replacing the existing façade with a new, mostly glass storefront. But, sadly, for fifteen years the building was occupied by a boring retail tenant. When that tenant moved out we were hired by the new tenant to design a bouldering gym – finally a perfect use for this building!
The new program for the building was exciting to us for a number of reasons: 1) We’d never designed an athletic facility, 2) the glass façade would provide wonderful views into the building and connect the passerby with the fascinating activity occurring within. Like a diorama, the transformation invites passersby to witness bouldering in action and perhaps even participate. It tells a simple but compelling story about adventure and becomes, in Jane Jacobs’ terms, a true gift to the street.
Owner: Mosaic Boulders, Michael Heinstein
Trachtenberg Architects: David Trachtenberg, Daniel Kalani, Neven Krickovic, Luis Vasquez
Structural Engineer: Structus, Inc.
General Contractor: Stevens Hemmingway Stevens
Lighting Design: Left Hand Lighting Design
Climbing wall design, fabrication, and installation: Vertical Solutions
Photography: Ken Gutmaker