Crag X climbing gym

Project Info

Client Crag X Climbing Gym
Date Completed May 2016

Project Description

hen the new Crag X gym was proposed, owners Nikolai Galadza and Kenneth Cronin had a grand vision for the space. With the angular faceted design and industrial concrete construction the reception desk had to be something special.
“When our designer presented us with his design for our concrete front desk, I was sure that his vision was beyond what could be made real. Nolan and his crew at Szolyd took our plans and made the cantilevered and gravity defying multi-piece project a reality. We couldn’t be happier with their work to make our (crazy!) vision a reality” Kenneth Cronin, owner Crag X Climbing Centre Victoria BC.

Original sketchup design

The mold build was a complicated undertaking requiring some creative thinking. Light grey UHPC Ductal concrete was cast at 1″ thickness into 4 different molds designed to fit together with precision. Fasteners were embedded to fix the pieces with respect to each other and to the cabinetry.

mdf positive for mold

MDF positive shape to create mold parts

The designer, Grant MacPherson, created mdf positives of each component out of 1″ material. The Szolyd team utilized the positives as the framework and negative wood molds were built around each unit.

rubber parts for inners

In order to create the desired sharp angular shapes the inner mold parts were constructed out of a softer material. Urethane rubber was poured into the waxed mdf cavities creating a perfect inner mold component.

When the inner and outer mold components were complete the 1″ mdf positive units were removed allowing for hand-touched finishing of the molds prior to casting.Light grey UHPC ductal was used with 4% fiber content, creating structural integrity without utilizing rebar or mesh.

mold part removal

The UHPC Ductal concrete was cured for two days and then the back of the casting was diamond ground flush. The outer mold parts were removed, leaving the tricky rubber inner molds. Compressed air and shims aided in the delicate process of removing these inner rubber components.

uhpc components polished and ready for sealer

Finally the completed pieces were delivered to site for install. Each piece was set onto a steel pedestal and bolted to the embedded UHPC ductal fasteners. Calking was used give the finished product a seamless appearance.

The final product is the result of clever design and sophisticated mold building. It showcases UHPC Ductal’s inherent properties to allow thin section, cantilevered casts, and architectural finishes.