We were thrilled to learn this morning that NL Architects now has a second chance to transform an abandoned silo outside of Amsterdam into a climbing gym. Back in 2009, the firm crafted a grand proposal to turn the complex into a recreation and climbing destination, but lost the competition to a design for the Annie M.G. Schmidt Huis. Now the developers of the area think NL Architects' original proposal could still work and they've asked them to perform a study for an adaptive reuse of the third silo. The results of that study led to 'Siloo O', a world-class climbing and mountaineering facility that makes use of daylight, the existing infrastructure and could become an important attraction for climbers around the world.
The City of Amsterdam launched the original competition to turn abandoned sewage treatment silos on Zeeburgereiland into an exciting public space in 2009. They selected the design for the Annie M.G. Schmidt Huis because of its far reaching cultural qualities, but they were intrigued by NL Architects’ idea to convert them into a climbing gym. Now that the project is underway, the city invited the firm to perform a feasibility study for a world-class climbing and mountaineering facility. Climbing has become a particularly popular sport in The Netherlands and a facility like this could draw thousands of people to the area for recreation and competition.
NL Architects’ new design for the climbing gym moves away from their original smooth volume to create a more triangular and faceted building. Outdoor climbing routes were added to the sunny southern side where climbers can enjoy the facility in warm weather. The north side features a series of triangular windows to take in natural daylight. Inside, the silo itself becomes a cavernous indoor climbing gym with four additional stories and a rooftop terrace. The climbing gym also includes space for a bar, a library, an information center, a travel center, a store, meeting rooms, and an outdoor playground for children. Siloo O completes the area and provides more recreational opportunities drawing a wide range of tourists to make use of the island.
Images ©NL Architects