In Schierke, a district of Wernigerode at the foot of the Harz Mountains, GRAFT has renovated a listed natural ice rink.
In 2013, GRAFT won a Europe-wide architectural competition to renovate the ice rink with its proposal for a unique roof construction. The competition brief outlined the need to transform the facility into a multi-functional arena for year-round use that can host not only sports but also cultural events regardless of the weather. The existing stone terraces and listed timber umpire’s tower had to be retained and incorporated into the new design. Sanitary facilities, technical services, administration, changing rooms and restaurant facilities were to be added in two additional buildings as part of the arena complex.
GRAFT proposed a dramatic roof structure that rests on the ground at just two points and provides shelter from rain, snow and sunlight but also frames a view of the mountains beyond and the sky above. The poise and elegance of the roof responds to the landscape. Developed in collaboration with schlaich bergermann partner, the steel ring structure is spanned by a steel rope net covered with PTFE membrane. The roof area totals 2,700 square metres.
The new multifunctional arena has turned the former historic site into a tourist attraction. In winter, it serves as a sheltered artificial ice rink and in summer as a venue for concerts and theatre productions or sport and health events. Two new buildings to the east and west of the stadium host restaurant and café facilities along with other functions. The two buildings act simultaneously as the footing blocks of the roof and are therefore part of the overall composition of the structure. Embedded in the topography of the site, they are perceived as part of the landscape.