“Small, Neighborhood Gym” Planned in California College Town

Mosaic Boulders rendering
Mosaic Boulders won’t be the biggest climbing gym in the Berkeley area; instead, the space is being crafted for UC Berkeley students and will be located right next to the campus. (All images courtesy of Mosaic Boulders)

Mosaic Boulders
Berkeley, CA

Specs: UC Berkeley graduates Zachary Wright and Mike Heinstein are planning to open Mosaic Boulders in their college town this fall. Located minutes from campus, the bouldering gym was designed with college students in mind, while being a place for climbers of all ages and ability levels. In a recent video, Wright described how the climbing gym he visited in college served as an “anchor” as he tried to get his footing in a new place. The owners hope their facility can do the same for current UC Berkeley students.

Trango Holds Pardners


Part of that mission is trying to make the climbing affordable. To keep membership costs down from the get-go, Wright and Heinstein decided not to install certain amenities that the students already have on campus, such as a comprehensive fitness center. The owners also aren’t planning to have an initiation fee or freeze fee, to make things easier for students traveling or returning home over the summer.

Wanting a place close to campus, the options for Wright and Heinstein’s vision were limited. On Telegraph Avenue where the gym will be located, most of the buildings are single story businesses, some of which have apartments on top. But eventually they found a former home-goods market that would permit 16-foot bouldering walls.

Mosaic founders Heinstein and Wright
Heinstein (left) and Wright (right) hope to make the climbing at Mosaic accessible to college students. “Climbing is this awesome activity where it’s not just a sport―so it’s not just a way to stay active, stay healthy―but it’s a great way to make friends and build community,” says Wright.

The owners loved the idea of a “small, neighborhood gym…inspired by the intimate bouldering gyms that have popped up in Japan in recent years,” Wright said on Mosaic’s website. To try and recreate that atmosphere in a tight space, they had to be intentional about the layout. “We opted to build linear walls along the longest sides of the building, which kept the middle of our gym completely open, mitigated any overlap between seating and fall zones, and resulted in 2,000 square feet of rad (in our humble opinion) bouldering terrain,” said Wright.

The gym will also have a mezzanine overlooking the bouldering area and an outdoor patio where students can study. Additional amenities include a small retail shop, hangboards, and a touchscreen vending machine fit with food and small retail items such as chalk.

Mosaic rendering
Mosaic’s design was inspired in part by “the intimate bouldering gyms” in Japan, and the owners hope to create a similar gym atmosphere on their side of the Pacific.

Walls: Vertical Solutions
Flooring: Habit
CRM Software: MindBody
Website: www.mosaicboulders.com
Instagram: @MosaicBoulders

In Their Words: “We love Berkeley and we love UC Berkeley. We both live in Berkeley, we both went to Berkeley…so we are just super stoked about being part of that, in the middle of it, right by campus, climbing with the kids that are going to change the world and make it a better place.” – Mike Heinstein, co-owner