Taking cues from the natural landscape of a bowl-shaped site, BIG carves out a nice spot for an underground ice rink. Naturally lit from the south, the rink enjoys bright daylighting on the interior and the adjacent amphitheater park becomes a protected area to enjoy the out of doors. The green-roofed Ice Hockey Rink in Umeå in northern Sweden is all about combining recreational programs that maintain the existing natural qualities of the site.
The existing site is a naturally recessed bowl and BIG takes the concept and extends it further by sinking the ice rink into the bowl and covering it with a green roof. Facing the south, a huge east-west window naturally lights the interior of the rink and lets people on the outside see the ice hockey action inside and vice versa. A corner of the rink is peeled up to a small peak to act as a landmark and entrance facing the street. The green roof also becomes an extension of the adjacent Umedalen Sculpture Park.
Open to the public, the ice rink and surrounding park become a year round recreational facility, and in the summer the recessed bowl becomes an amphitheater for concerts and plays, and the windows of the rink open up to create a stage. Ramps allow wheelchair and stroller access down to the bottom of the bowl and inside the rink. The 4,600 sq meter ice rink includes a variety of different user spaces including a cafe, outdoor seating, a bonfire area and winter sliding zone.