The Vertical Pavilion is a temporary installation offering a rock-climbing facility in the middle of the Pavillon de l’Arsenal (a Parisian exhibition center dedicated to architecture and town-planning).
The climbing wall, composed of sharp triangles, creates a vertical movement and provides rhythm either visually for visitors or sportingly for climbers.
For the Worldwide Olympic Day, the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, in partnership with the French Federation of rock climbing, installed a 13 meters tall climbing wall in the middle of its exhibitions. For the first time, rock climbing would settle in a cultural center. Climbers of all level are invited to practice this sport recently added to the Olympic Sports List.
Halfway between the worlds of sport and culture, this hybrid contemporary installation aims to share and celebrate the Paris’ bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics. At the foot of the wall, the 40 m² digital model of the Pavillon de l’Arsenal wears the Paris 2024 colors and allows visitors to discover the Olympic installations planned across the city.
The architectural proposition answers to the project stakes: a union between sport and architecture. The wall, designed by a team of architects and engineers, responds to this double architectural and sportive ambition.
Entering the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, the wall is underlined by its mat, bright yellow and perfectly circular. It invites visitors to come around and to discover the wall raised in the middle of the central volume of the building. The vertical geometry rises the visitor’s eye up to the historical metallic framework of the Pavillon and its zenithal glass roof. This vertical movement offers a new and original viewpoint for the climbers on the exhibition of the Pavillon.
The wall is composed of an assembly of wood boards that form a vertical folded foil, perfectly symmetric and aligned on the axe of composition of the Pavillon de l’Arsenal. The creased geometry answers to the double ambition of the project: it tends toward an aesthetic and responds to a sportive practice. On one hand, it creates a visual dynamic for spectators by the subtle light variations resulting from the various slopes of the panels. On the other hand, the folding produces variations for the climbers who plays on a non-regular surface.
The geometry of the wall allowed a fast and easy construction. The symmetry of the composition and the recurrence of the assemblies generate a surface with simple panels and standardized cuts. This rationalization of the construction process helped for the prefabrication as well as for the assembly on site. The construction occurred in only two weeks (one week for prefabrication and one week on site), reducing the impact on the other activities of the Pavillon de l’Arsenal.
Last element of the project, the wall is supported by a light and optimized steel structure which fulfils the significant requirements of the existing structure. The wall structure has been highly optimized to lower the loads down to the existing concrete slab which supports only 500 kg/m². The structure is composed of a 3D truss whose design match with the design of the wall with diagonals corresponding to the diamond-shaped of the wall.
Settle for the all summer, the Vertical Pavilion allowed a wide public to meet, share and discover a place and a practice. The Pavillon de l’Arsenal asked for a second-life for the wall. The French Federation of Rock Climbing will reuse it through events of rock climbing promotions.