OK, so the results are in.

We got 59 submissions. Wow. Included amongst them were many customers and quite a few of our own staff members. Note they did not win :). Our architect Anton and his son Zane also entered. Ditto. We even got a family of three entering, some couples, some siblings. The winner is a person that I have never met.

Thank you everyone for sending in your design. We saw many things we liked, and many that we didn’t like.

In the end it was down to three finalists.
Chad Rossouw, Jonathan Craik and Duncan Fraser.

It was a really difficult vote. In the end I had to pose a bit of a forced question; “if we have to start painting tomorrow and you had to choose one and only one design, without any modifications whatsoever, which one would you pick?” Lots of different designs had good elements, colors, or areas, but no one model came close to actually being ready out the box.

The 2nd prize will be shared by Chad Rossouw and Duncan Fraser. You both have very creative designs. You guys will get six months free memberships for the new CityROCK Paarden Eiland gym, when we open at the end of the year.

Chad used a mountain analogy. The design is very dark and broody, with blue skies and snow-capped peaks.
This design only gets 2nd prize because it contained too much black for our liking, which is not a practical color for a climbing gym where everyone uses white chalk, meaning that the walls will look dirty immediately. Chad’s design is also more difficult to paint, as he chose to paint across panels, i.e. panels would have to be marked with masking tape, then painted carefully. We know this bit of detail wasn’t specified in our design rules, but will make sense to anyone who has ever painted walls before.

Chad Rossouw’s design (tied for 2nd place)


We also really liked Duncan Frasers’ design, using the red, white and black CityROCK colors. Duncan drew very striking red and black lines diagonally across our climbing walls.  We really liked the word “CityROCK” painted in big letters on one of the walls. Unfortunately we also didn’t think Duncan’s design was very practical. From a painting perspective, it has the same issues as Chad’s – the red and black lines run diagonally across many panels. We also thought that there was too much white in his design, and from our Johannesburg gym experience we know that white walls get dirty incredibly quickly.

Duncan Fraser’s design (tied for 2nd place)


As we were browsing all these 59 different models, we actually got a picture in our mind what we wanted in the end. The three areas (kids, adults, bouldering) should have different colors. We liked white and/or grey as unifying color across all areas. We wanted one or two colors in each area. So the first prize goes to Jonathan Craik, whose design fit most of our critera, and as mentioned before, we felt it could be used as our template to start painting tomorrow.

Jonathan Craik’s design winning 1st place!


Jonathan is a landscape architect and one of our Johannesburg gym members, currently working on a project in Saudi Arabia.

Here’s what he had to say about winning, “I’m super chuffed that you chose my design/colour palette for the new Paarden Eiland gym. I started climbing at CityROCK Observatory back in 2009 when I lived in Cape Town, and now that we’re in Joburg, CityROCK in Fontainebleau is my local wall. Climbing and therefore CityROCK has been a really positive force in my life – thank you. The prize is super generous and comes just in time for our first bouldering trip to Hampi in India where new shoes and a boulder pad are in order. 


Having said all that, we actually chose to do our own design, based on what we have learnt.

How the new gym will probably look!


Jonathan, please collect your R10,000 Gear Shop Voucher from Richard, our Jozi Gear Shop manager. 
Chad and Duncan, please pick up your 6-month membership voucher from Margaret in Cape Town.

All participants, thank you for your efforts. You can pick up your Free day passes at your respective branch’s front desks (KZN entrants can pick up their day passes at either branch) and see you in December in Paarden Eiland!


– Robert


To see all the design submissions, click here.

To see the winner’s design flythrough, click here.