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Designing New Heights – Zenith Climbing Center

Want to beat the hot summer heat and try a unique way to stay fit? Look no further than the indoor climbing gym, Zenith Climbing Center. The BR&P designed 12,644 sq. ft. rock climbing gym opened earlier this spring. Features include climbing walls, a bouldering area, a children’s area with low climbing walls and a slide. The gym also offers yoga and aerial silk classes, as well as a full service weight room.

It’s not every day, one gets to design a space with 37ft high climbing walls specially made in Bulgaria. The story began when BR&P was approached by owners, Everett and Audrey Pauls, to assist them in converting a large space in a former tennis center into a climbing gym.  They believed this was the only space is town with the height and availability that would work for such a specialized facility. BR&P also worked with the climbing wall system manufacturer, Walltopia in Bulgaria, to integrate the very unique wall system into the space, while at the same time, maximizing potential of the area.

The BR&P designed 12,000+ sq. ft. Zenith Climbing Center opened earlier this spring.

It’s always challenging figuring out how to convert buildings from uses that originally were not intended. Zenith had previously undergone several transformations, from a tennis center, to office spaces, and finally a call center. By removing suspended ceilings and ductwork, a reconfiguring of sprinkler systems, and working with the city to make sure everything was up to code, Zenith began to take shape.

As demolition and new construction progressed, BR&P collaborated with Walltopia to confirm how the climbing walls were to be fabricated and installed into the space. At the same time, Bill Bergmann PE, structural engineer, was figuring out how the roof could handle snow load, while at the same time, not affect the climbing walls due to the large space of the building.

Rock climbers at Zenith

The contractor, Sam Butler of ButlerBuilt LLC, worked diligently with the owners and the landlord to accomplish the conversion of the space and to coordinate all the trades necessary to make the project a reality. “This is truly a unique facility that is focused on the whole climbing industry from kids to seasoned climbers”, says Geoffrey Butler, BR&P founding partner and architect.  “It is always fun for us as architects to get involved in something so different and interesting.”

Got a unique project in mind? Give us a call at 417-865-6100 or check out our website,, for more information.

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