Formerly located in the historic industrial building Nordelec in Pointe-Saint-Charles, the climbing center Allez Up had to move to make way for a residential project. A blessing in disguise, since the family business receiving more than 70,000 visitors annually had been thinking of expanding. Established in the area for the past 15 years, Allez Up found a new home near by, in the former sugar factory Redpath.
It is the Montreal firm Smith Vigeant architectes, who was mandated to give the abandoned silos a second life. At a cost of 4.8 million dollars, the development converted Allez Up into a true temple for climbers, the most modern in North America. Covering an area of about 1,500 square meters (17,000 square feet), its capacity has increased from 130 to 350 visitors a day.
The climbing walls in pure white evoke sugar hills, a reference to the silos’ original functions that charmed the jury. Angled shaped, they offer var- ious climbing routes designed for experts and neophytes alike. In order to energize the space, climbing holds of various colours were installed on the slopes for balance. “The use of colour is subtle and nuanced, noted the jury. While being pertinent, this practice is unusual and gives the project another dimension.”