Sited on a former brownfield next to the Lachine Canal not too far from downtown, the Allez Up gym is a one-of-a-kind facility that is helping to revitalize the area. The former silos of the sugar refinery were converted into climbing walls perfect for a range of skills from beginning to expert. Smith-Vigeant designed the facility to pay tribute to the industrial facility and remind visitors of its origins as a factory. The interior climbing facility was designed to resemble sugar crystals with white, angular walls and bright, colorful holds that punctuate the man-made cliffs.
Besides their adaptive reuse of the sugar refinery and use of recycled materials, Smith-Vigeant also designed the facility to be energy efficient to support Allez Up’s overall mission. Large windows with views out to the city provide daylight for the interior, while the orientation and openings maximize solar gain in the winter.
Shading devices minimize summer sun and control glare. High performance insulation and an envelope minimize energy losses, natural ventilation provides cooling when necessary and hydronic radiant flooring provides heat. Materials were selected to be low maintenance, durable and enhance indoor air quality. Currently only 50 percent of the silo structures are utilized for the climbing gym, though the company hopes to eventually integrate them into the gym.
Images ©Stéphane Brugger