Climbing mountains - The new Arkose Pont de Sèvres climbing complex

Boulogne-Billancourt / France / 2021

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Spaces of staggering heights that once were a parking garage surround the new Vieux Pont de Sèvres passageway in Boulogne. The 1,800 m² complex includes climbing walls for adults and children, fitness and yoga areas, a bar, a restaurant, and a shop. To create the Arkose climbing complex, whose climbing walls are visible from the rue du Vieux Pont de Sèvres, Atelier du Pont designed a brand-new universe in this concrete environment. Enclosed within a rough, unfinished space, the complex was inspired by bivouacs. Its atypical, labyrinthine configuration suggests an immersive walk that assigns a hiking-related theme to each space. 


The project makes priority use of repurposed furniture and sustainable, biosourced materials: wheat grain paneling, cellulose acoustic modules, and wood that has either been locally sourced or that comes from a recovered lot, such as the torrefied fir used for the flooring...


The Arkose climbing complex has two climbing areas for adults, one of which is on two levels, and one climbing area for children. The climbing walls have a natural wood finish with colored holds affixed to them.


Located across from the main entrance, a large bar winds through the space. More than 25 meters in length, it rests on a series of vertical chestnut logs that come mainly from the central French region of Sologne. Metal racks hanging above the bar are used as shelves. Old climbing ropes have been repurposed as a curtain to give the seating space around the bar a greater sense of privacy.


Wood and patinaed metal adorn the shop located to the left of the main entrance. Structures were built using metal duckboard repurposed from the Loiret region; the shelves, made from wood shavings, were attached using old straps; multiply perforated birch panels are used to hang clothing and climbing gear; and mobile elements recycled from a locksmith were recovered to make lockers. A second-hand workbench is being used as a display stand.


In the restaurant, which can seat one hundred people, an immense fresco more than 15 meters long evokes a mountain landscape. It is composed of cellulose sound boards of various forms colored green, beige, and gray. Climbers can gather around raw, unfinished wood tables or in a cabin-shaped structure to spend time with their friends and family. Atelier du Pont furnished the climbing complex by sourcing more than 220 pieces of second-hand or repurposed furniture and accessories from professionals and private individuals alike.


Architects – Interior Architects – Furnishings: Atelier du Pont


Client: Arkose Group


Developer: SPL Val-de-Seine Aménagement


Engineering research: Dumez, Ascensus Rénovation, MTMS, SMEF Azur, L’estampille, Delta fluides, Entre-Prises


Photos: Fred Delangle, Vincent Leroux

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    Spaces of staggering heights that once were a parking garage surround the new Vieux Pont de Sèvres passageway in Boulogne. The 1,800 m² complex includes climbing walls for adults and children, fitness and yoga areas, a bar, a restaurant, and a shop. To create the Arkose climbing complex, whose climbing walls are visible from the rue du Vieux Pont de Sèvres, Atelier du Pont designed a brand-new universe in this concrete environment. Enclosed within a rough, unfinished space,...

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