Smith Vigeant Architects’ Allez-Up wins Project of the Year 2013 in the Grands Prix du Design

The rock-climbing gym Allez-Up is at the heart of the revitalization project for Montreal’s southwest borough. Flanking the Lachine Canal, the site and silos of the old Redpath sugar refinery have been converted into a one-of-a-kind indoor rock-climbing facility, adding significantly to the recreational and tourist attractions of the Canal.

Developing the abandoned silos into a rock-climbing gym is a unique way to maximize the enormous potential of these historic vestiges from Montreal’s industrial past. The climbing wall formations within the main building actually resemble sugar cliffs, reminding visitors of the original function of the Redpath silos. These pure white, angular climbing walls offer many different routes for both beginners as well as seasoned climbers. The multicoloured climbing-holds speckled across the walls add to the dynamic charm of this unique interior space.

The siding and outer metallic building envelope pay tribute to the industrial and monolithic character of this site, while the massive windows gaze far out onto St. Patrick Street. In long shafts, abundant natural light saturates the space, creating an effect of crevasses and voids on the climbing walls and revealing the interior climbing surfaces – a truly colourful heart at the centre of a metallic exterior. The 1,220-square-metre project was completed in August 2013 at a cost of $5 million.

Daniel Smith and Stéphan Vigeant have been working together since 1992 to define an architectural practice that transcends the traditional scope of the profession. Their vision, combined with diverse and extensive professional experience, now extends to a wide range of projects from the residential, institutional, corporate, leisure and urban sectors.

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