Climb So Ill
When brothers and business partners David and Daniel Chancellor and partner Ian Anderson came to us they already had one of the best known and unique brands in the climbing holds and supply business, in So Ill, and wanted to launch an indoor climbing gym that would be on par with their holds business. Working with UIC, the team toured spaces across St. Louis, including abandoned malls and breweries, which were capable of holding up to 55 foot high walls and an existing massive bouldering wall. The final location selection was a truly one of a kind opportunity in the former Power Plant to what was the City Hospital complex south of Downtown. UIC worked with So Ill and the existing building owner to not only understand how the climbing gym could fit, but to also figure out how to insert an adjacent banquet hall and a two story roof top restaurants with a bar looking out over the top of the elite wall, all of which not only created a great facility, but made the project financially viable.
The result is truly one of a kind. Working with Bulgarian based climbing wall designer and fabricator, Walltopia, UIC and So Ill developed a design with vibrant walls contrasted against the rich patina of the carefully maintained existing structure. New elements, such as a series of balconies and stairs and a suite of custom casework and furniture, were designed to match this contrast of elements and to further embellish the unique scale and heights of the spaces.
UIC Architecture and Urbanism embedded themselves in the climb So Ill team from the outset of the project and did everything they could to help David, Daniel and Ian realize their dream of creating one of the best indoor climbing experiences in the country. Starting with site selection, advising on their award winning business plan, working tirelessly to find the right mix of spaces and materials, and even donning climbing gear to adjust lights 60 foot in the air well into the night the day before opening, UIC became a part of the So Ill team and the success of our client.
Video by Tennyson S. Tanner.
Photos by Aaron Bunse.