A social climbing space for a start-up climbing wall operator aiming to increase access to the sport and bring mixed use programming to climbing centres.

The combined climbing wall, cafe, gym, workspace project began in 2017 with a series of feasibility studies assessing potential development sites in West London. Finding the right space and completing the design and build was carried out to a tight budget, over 18 months. IDK collaborated closely throughout with designer and fabricator Tom Clowney to deliver a quiet, robust and functional setting for the climbing wall. Since opening to the public in October 2019, The Nest has found a firm foothold in the local area, attracting a loyal and diverse community into its bright and welcoming space.

With an open mezzanine, raised walkway and wall of moveable bolt-ons that offer wide faces for vertical routes and corner overhangs for tricky bouldering moves, The Nest provides space for climbers of all levels to challenge themselves and learn from each other. Located in Hayes, West London, The Nest is opening up climbing to people in neighbourhoods that previously lacked facilities and contributing positively to changing the face of the sport.

During the day, north-facing double height windows let in natural light. At night, carefully-angled spotlights target shadowed areas and up-lighters provide even, reflected illumination so climbers looking for their next hold never squint into a lamp.

Cost-effective materials were chosen to deliver value and provide durable, hardwearing surfaces needing minimal maintenance. This allowed focused spend on key features, such as a cork floor which is warm on bare or socked feet. Throughout, the neutral palette draws attention to the custom-made wall around which the design was based.


Fit out / Community & well-being
Collaborators: Tom Clowney, Choice Electrical, Belfar