Climb Iowa

Climb Iowa wanted a design that would help them grow the community’s interest in climbing in the Des
Moines Metro. They needed their new climbing gym to establish an energetic presence in the East Village to attract pedestrians and local residents.
Industrial Connection

One goal of this project is to add to the growth of activity occurring south of the East Village into a new market district. Our team enjoyed turning an underutilized metal building form, which was formerly an automotive shop, into a lively facility that offers something unique for the neighborhood. Climb Iowa is a wonderful amenity for all the young professionals and families living in the areas and is easily accessible for neighbors in walking distance.

Endurance + Sustainability

The durable, high quality materials are both a reference to the building’s former use and a tribute to Climb Iowa’s future in Des Moines. Once inside, the existing steel frame now allows for dynamic, unrestrained climbing. In more temperate weather, large overhead doors can be opened to ventilate the space. The emphasis on natural light further encourages energy efficiency. The building envelope was upgraded to meet current energy codes.

Exposure + Experience

The interior/exterior presence of the climbing equipment was very important to Climb Iowa; therefore, our designs featured oversized windows that allow visibility in and out of the building. This view promotes Climb Iowa’s goal of expanding local interest in climbing and allows one of the largest bouldering gyms in the country to be on display. The visible faces are highlighted with iconic signage and applied graphics.