In the small town of Brixen in Northern Italy, there is a climbing gym that is like no other. The exterior looks like a piece of crumpled tin foil, and what’s more, when night falls the crumpled building becomes transparent, with the climbers inside on view for all to see.
The Vertikale Kletterhalle, or vertical climbing gym, was designed by architects Martin Mutschlechner and Barbara Lanz of Stadtlabor, in collaboration with local architect Wolfgang Meraner.
The walls of the building are made out of aluminum that is laced with miniscule perforations. During the day, the building has a ripple effect inspired by a curtain, and by night, the perforations allows the light from within to make the building appear transparent. Says Mutschlechner:
We wanted the building to be hermetic during daytime and completely transparent at night. The first idea was to create a curtain and the waving of the facade was added to create a moiré effect. It was very important for us to have a facade that changes transparency during the day and changes pattern if you move around the building.
Part of the reasoning behind the see-through walls is that it brings the climbers closer to nature, giving them a view of the Dolomite Mountains during the day. ‘Nature is transported into the building’ reads the architects’ project description. It also creates a dynamic relationship between the climbers inside and the people walking by, giving them a different view every night.
This Building Becomes Transparent at Night