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St. Pölten Ice Rink - Frame, Physics, Installations
This brand new ice rink is located on a regional sports-centre and college complex in St. Pölten, just outside Vienna. Its upswept lines harmonize well with the surrounding facilities, finishing on the north side with a distinctive flourish. Enclosed within the shiny, smooth aluminium skin is a competition-standard ice rink for skating (general public, schools), ice-hockey and ice dancing, and training facilities. The ancillary functions are accommodated in different-height rows flanking the ice on the east and south sides.
An inclined walkway links the lower cloakroom areas with the higher infrastructure wing, projecting above the glazed main entrance like a canopy.
Immediately behind the entrance is the foyer and changing rooms for the general public, a buffet area, shop and the rink supervisor´s room. In the side tracts are changing rooms for the players, rooms for building systems technology and above, the seating and the VIP lounge. The requirements of ice hockey stipulate a clear height of 7 m over the entire extent of the 30 ≈ 60 m ice surface. This, together with the need to ensure a clear view of the ice from the banked seating, unobstructed by columns, presented a special challenge for the design of the hall roof.
The twelve glued-laminated timber girders all have a differently shaped lens-like opening that varies along its length. These girders are supported on precast reinforced-concrete columns. The walls and roof are constructed from load-bearing timber sandwich elements, whereas the service tracts are of reinforced concrete.
The building services and building frame had to be able to cope with the all-year-round low temperature in the hall, the humidity from the ice, and the proximity of the warm changing areas to the ice. Vapour barriers were fitted to both sides of some components. The window strips and the glass facades are positioned where direct sunlight cannot reach the ice surface, but where they can nevertheless admit natural light to the hall. When the rink is lit at night, the glazed surfaces are an immediately identifiable beacon within the complex .