A community-led climbing centre in Newham London, delivered as part of a broader regeneration and development of the area.

To create a space where the climbing community could come together to train, learn, share and build, IDK wrapped the Rise climbing wall around the centre's perimeter, creating a flexible central space which is used for gigs, seminars, hang outs and social gatherings. A suite of mezzanines ensures bouldering activities are visible from all parts of the climbing centre, and large glazed windows reveal the climbing activities taking place inside to passers-by.

From the outset, the use of unnecessary materials was minimised. Exposed timber studwork, galvanised steel and concrete create a raw, stripped-back materiality which celebrates the original self-built “cellar” climbing gyms of the early 1990s. This does not come at the cost of comfort – the Rise is one of the few climbing centres with underfloor heating throughout and a carefully integrated natural ventilation system which tempers the environment to the specific needs of climbers.

Wherever possible, the impressive architectural shell has been left unfinished, placing budgetary and visual emphasis on specific design interventions, the most notable of which is the sculptural joinery of the climbing wall itself.

Fit out / Community & well-being
Collaborators: The Climbing Wall Company, Choice Electrical, Bric Design, Coast 2 Coast, SRE, Cardoe Martin
Photography: Ollie Hammick