Aesthetics-Focused Gym with Outdoor Wall Underway in Spain

Campo Base Burgos exterior under construction
Campo Base, a new climbing gym that will have both indoor and outdoor sport climbing options to go with bouldering and speed climbing inside, is under construction and expected to open this fall in Spain. (All images courtesy of Campo Base)

Campo Base
Burgos, Spain

Specs: Campo Base is a mixed-discipline gym tentatively opening this October in Burgos, Spain. Owned and operated by Campo Base CEO Alvar Hernando and his friends and family, Campo Base became an idea after Hernando visited some larger North American climbing gyms while living in Toronto. “I was fascinated,” Hernando said. “Since then, the idea of creating a climbing gym in my city has been in my head.”

Aside from Burgos being Hernando’s hometown, he said there’s a “considerable number of climbers and mountain enthusiasts” in the city and the Spanish climbing population is growing, so Hernando felt the gym would be appreciated and bring value to his city. “It is impossible to know if this is the best time to open—the future is always uncertain. But with the data we had, it seemed good enough to take a chance,” he shared.

Trango Holds Pardners

The owners opted to build Campo Base ground-up given their aesthetic and functional criteria for the gym project. “From the beginning, we had some needs that the building had to cover: location, height, approximate size, etc.” Hernando said. “From there, we tried to design a building that would be useful, beautiful and, more importantly, that would be nice to be inside. We want to become the second home of a community of users.”

According to Hernando, those ideas guided many of their design decisions. For example, in terms of balancing aesthetics and function, he decided the climbing walls should be in the spotlight and would be enhanced by natural light, “creating a pleasant space” while reducing the gym’s energy consumption. Additionally, to “emphasize the verticality inherent to climbing” and help climbers feel at home, the team created spaces within the gym situated at different heights. “Walltopia, Cristina Palma and the commercial in our area have done a great job helping us at all stages of the process,” he added.

The gym's bouldering walls
Still coming together, the climbing walls and interior at the new gym are being crafted specifically for climbers in the area, “regardless of whether they are first-time or expert climbers,” said Hernando.

Campo Base will feature bouldering, lead and speed climbing terrain, in addition to a Kilter Board, training area, cafeteria, and an outdoor climbing area in a garden. After working on the exterior of the building, an outdoor installation “seemed like a good idea for many reasons,” Hernando said. “If we managed to integrate it aesthetically, we would have a very striking building. It would also serve to explain what we do better than a poster [would]. And finally, combined with a garden and installing bar tables outside, it will allow us to create a place where our potential customers want to be.”

Going forward, Campo Base is planning an event series that will include talks, workshops, and courses about the mountaineering world. “We believe that the mountains and climbing are deeply related, and we want to reflect that in our gym,” Hernando said. “We are focused on climbing. We love indoor climbing, and above all we want to give our users the best experience, regardless of whether they are first-time or expert climbers.”

Roped walls at the gym
Indoors, the Burgos gym will feature a mix of roped climbing surface, including a dedicated speed wall.

Walls: Walltopia
Flooring: Climbmat
CRM Software: BETA Climbing
Instagram: @CampoBaseBurgos

In Their Words: “Of course, all complex projects come with challenges; some can be foreseen from the beginning, others appear unexpectedly…I would say that the most important challenge is to understand that, sooner or later, problems are going to appear. The most important resource to solve these problems is not money or time; it is a team of people you can trust…You have to try to enjoy the process. Try to do things quickly and well, but without being overwhelmed by wanting to move on to the next stage as soon as possible.” – Alvar Hernando, Campo Base CEO

Harness Consulting