Oxford Ice Rink

Oxford, UK

Project Description

The Oxford Ice Rink was commissioned by Oxford City Council as a sports facility and a social centre for young people. The site allocated to the scheme was a meadow to the west of the city. Given its relative isolation from the historic city centre, the building had to be a landmark scheme that could effectively act as its own advertisement.

With a small budget and a site constrained by difficult ground conditions, Grimshaw decided to take a structural approach to the design of the building to accommodate these restrictions. As a building type, the ice rink requires a large, centralised column-free space and thus a wide span. A spine beam, formed from a pair of rectangular box sections, runs the full length of the building and supports the ice rink. This beam is 'hung' from two 30m high masts at either end of the building. These 'high readers' act as signs, visible at a distance from Oxford City Centre and a contemporary foil to the city's famous spires. The structural shell of the building provides a column free space and houses a 56m x 26m rink.

Project Details

Oxford City Council
3,506 sq m
Completion Date:
Photography by Alistair Hunter, Jo Reid & Jon Peck, Ove Arup and Partners