Category: Residential & Recreation
Size: 24,000 SF
System: 3 in 1
Girt Size | Orientation | OC: 2.5” | H | 16”
Insulation Type: Polyiso
Cladding: Steel Panels
Substrate: Open Framing Metal Studs
Architect: Johnsen Schmaling Architects
Contractor: Wenger Roofing & Sheet Metal
Installer: Wenger Roofing & Sheet Metal
Indoor rock climbing is one of the fastest growing sports in urban areas. A unique addition to Milwaukee’s North Side, Phase II of the Rivercrest Development included a mixed-use multi-purpose building which includes 46-apartments paired with an 18,000 sq/ft indoor rock climbing gymnasium. Phase II of the Rivercrest Development followed the completion of townhomes, forming RiverCrest Condominiums. With the intentions of attracting young, active Milwaukee-residents, the latest phase of the Rivercrest Development, Belay Apartments and Adventure Rock, stands out among the cities several new high-end apartment buildings.
Adventure Rocks, founded in 1999, decided to expand into a second facility within the city of Milwaukee in hopes of attracting more residents to the sport. The concept of the project was to combine living space with the rock climbing gym. Adventure Rocks is a family-oriented, strength-building activity offering rock climbing, bouldering, fitness training, yoga classes, climbing competitions, as well as event spaces.
Reflecting Milwaukee’s industrial past and growing development, the second phase of the Rivercrest Development brings life back to the city along the Milwaukee River. Johnsen Schmaling Architects completed the Belay Apartments and Adventure Rocks gym in 2016. Schmaling worked alongside Wenger Roofing & Sheet Metal to construct the building envelope.
“What we tried to do was capture the history in the sense that there used to be more of these industrial-scale and industrial-looking buildings in the neighborhood. Our building is trying to evoke the scale, the masculinity and the materiality of those buildings that used to be much more part of the fabric until things changed and got torn down, and the whole manufacturing industry moved out of the city.” – Sebastian Schmaling, AIA, LEED AP, Principal at Johnsen Schmaling Architects
Schmaling and Wenger incorporated the SMARTci 3 in 1 continuous insulation system into their project as the best practice, cost-effective solution for energy efficiency. This system offered a structurally sound surface to support the building’s unique exterior cladding. Schmaling Architects utilized weathering steel to embrace the building’s large scale and emulate the industrial, rusty buildings previously weathered by the Midwest climate, which once occupied the same space.
Since installation, the weathered steel cladding continues to change color with time. The weathered steel now looks dark brown. Changing with the seasons, the weathered steel appearance changes as well.
“It’s just fascinating that a building that is physically static has so much life in it, and really changes its appearance over time.” – Schmaling
Click here to view more photos of the project by Johnsen Schmaling Architects.