Solatube On The Scene: Mesa Rim Climbing Gym


At the end of the day we’re trying to create an inspiring environment. We want people to come in, walk in, and have
a wow factor if the look at the walls and they are really excited to climb. And everything else just kind of fades away. Mesa Rim in San Diego is a hub for the climbing community. It’s not just a climbing gym where people
come do their climbing and they leave. It’s really a hub that connects the entire
community. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a place to sort of hang out and enjoy
yourself. I think in the old days it might have been
the bars and then the coffee shops and now maybe it’s the climbing gym. Where you can sit here for hours. You can sit up in the mezzanine, take your
laptop out. watch other people climb, get inspired. It’s all about the walls. The walls tower above you. The walls attract you. They pull you in. If you look at the walls they’re very faceted. So in order to really get the best aspect
ratios out of the walls, you want the lighting to come in and hit the walls at the different
angles and give you that different feel. Give you the depth perception that you would
have when you look up. If it was just flat the look on the walls
wouldn’t be anywhere near as exciting. It wouldn’t be as natural either. Bringing a lot of natural light in, creating
a lot of open space a really clean aesthetic was really, really important in the design of this
new facility. I was contacted by the architect on the project
and they knew they wanted to bring natural daylight into the space and since I am also
a rock climber, I knew exactly what they needed regarding how to design the daylight so that
it would be uniformly spread throughout the space. There were a number of benefits that come
to mind with tubular lighting. One is the ability to throw the light. So you can understand with the 60 foot roof,
we want to be able to place light on the floor. We also want to light up the walls so we have
a very long distance for that light to travel and we use different types of Solatubes in
order to throw the light differently. The timing of this project was unique in that
Solatube had just launched the SkyVault series. So I knew that a big open space with ceilings
as high as 50 feet in the air would really called for that larger M74 unit and combining
that with the SolaMaster commercial series I knew the spread of light with the OptiView
diffuser would make sure that there was adequate daylight high up as well as nice light levels
for those getting ready to climb or walking on the climbing surface. The Solatubes gave us a tremendous amount
of flexibility in laying out the locations of the tubes so we can cast light down to
the flooring areas light up the walls and other areas and it gives us a lot of flexibility
to locate the Solatubes around the perimeter of the climbing walls exactly where we wanted
them. People come in here and they look at the walls
and they start climbing and they actually ask us to turn off the overhead lights. And they comment on how much they love the
Solatubes in this gym and how much they love the natural light and the way it hits the
walls. Our goals are to create amazing spaces to
support community. To support a lifestyle of climbing. To inspire people. I know we could not have done it in any other
way without using the Solatube daylighting devices.

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