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Mosaic Boulders

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