In Schierke, a district of Wernigerode at the foot of the Harz Mountains, GRAFT was commissioned to renovate a listed natural ice rink.
With its proposal for a unique roof construction, GRAFT won a 2013, Europe-wide architectural competition to renovate the city’s ice rink. The competition brief outlined the need to transform the facility into a multifunctional arena capable of hosting sports and cultural events on a year-round basis. The structure’s existing stone terraces and listed timber umpire’s tower had to be retained and incorporated into the new design. Sanitary facilities, technical services, offices, changing rooms and restaurant facilities were to be housed in two ancillary buildings as part of the arena complex.
GRAFT proposed a dramatic roof structure anchored at just two points, which provides protection from rain, snow and sunlight but also frames the view of the mountains and sky beyond—its characteristic poise and elegance is indeed a response to the surrounding landscape. Developed in collaboration with Schlaich Bergermann Partner, the steel ring structure is spanned by a steel rope net covered with PTFE membrane totaling 2,400m2.
With its transformation into a new, multifunctional arena, this former historic site has been turned into a year-round tourist attraction. In winter, it serves as a sheltered artificial ice rink, while in summer it is used as a venue for concerts and theatre productions or sports and health events.
Two new buildings to the east and west of the stadium host restaurant and cafe facilities along with other functions. By simultaneously acting as the footing blocks of the roof, these buildings also form part of the structure’s overall composition. Embedded within the topography of the site, they are perceived as an integral part of the surroundings.
Ice Stadium at night
Aleksandra Zajko, Alexandra Tobescu, Anna Wittwer, Annette Finke, Aurelius Weber, Daniel Finck, Djordje Zdravkovic, Dorothea von Rotberg, Evgenia Dimopoulou, Georg Schmidthals, Inga Anger, Jorge Luis Arias, Marta Piaseczynska, Marvin Bratke, Oliver O. Rednitz, Philip Weibhauser, Primosz Strazar, Sara Gomez, Sven Bauer