Walltopia—a climbing wall manufacturer—has designed and constructed the world’s tallest climbing wall, located on the side of CopenHill, a recently opened waste-to-energy plant in Copenhagen, Denmark. The 80-meter artificial climbing wall has five routes with ranging difficulty, each broken down into four 20-meter pitches.
The wall was designed to have a modern aesthetic to match the futuristic building, while also mimicking the outdoor climbing experience with features like roofs, arêtes, cracks, and ledges. Each pitch ends on a sloped ledge, much like how outdoor multi-pitch routes often end pitches at natural stances.
“The wall design was a challenge as we were striving to find the right balance between appearance and functionality,” said Vasil Sharlanov, head of Walltopia. “The goal was to create an appearance matching the impressive building architecture while designing wall topology that offers supreme climbing experience.”
Located in downtown Copenhagen, the CopenHill power plant is a project nearly ten years in the making, and is a key tenant of Copenhagen’s goal of being the world’s first carbon-neutral city by 2025. It is the largest and most prominent building in the city, and is both an energy plant and urban recreation center for its citizens. In addition to the 80-meter climbing wall on the side of the building, there is also an artificial ski hill on its sloping roof and an environmental education center.
“As a power plant, CopenHill is so clean that we have been able to turn its building mass into the bedrock of the social life of the city—its façade is climbable, its roof is hikeable and its slopes are skiable,” said Bjarke Ingels, the architect and designer who led the CopenHill project, in an interview for Blooloop. “A crystal clear example of ‘hedonistic sustainability’—that a sustainable city is not only better for the environment—it is also more enjoyable for the lives of its citizens.”
Skiing on CopenHill's rooftop artificial slope.
The 165-meter Diga di Luzzone dam in Switzerland features climbing routes using artificial holds, making it the world’s tallest artificial climbing face. The CopenHill wall is the tallest wall that was purpose-built for rock climbing.