Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink
Centerbrook participated in an invited competition to design a new community ice rink in Greenwich, Connecticut. Named for Olympic figure skater Dorothy Hamill, who grew up there, the existing 1971 rink offers skating activities and programs for all ages.
The brief called for a 40,000-square-foot building to support hockey programs, learn-to-skate programs, skating clubs, and public skating as well as birthday parties and other special events. It will house a 200’ x 85’ ice sheet with bench seating for 650, efficient ice management and building systems, locker rooms, a skate shop, lounge, meeting rooms, restrooms, and public lockers. The new facility will be constructed adjacent to its predecessor for continuity of operations.
Centerbrook’s design focuses attention on a dramatic curved glass entrance that becomes a beacon carved out of the simple rectilinear building form. Metal panels undulate like a skater’s blade carving the ice, with syncopated wood-mullioned glass that appears to be in motion. Visitors enter through a lobby whose slatted wooden ceiling controls noise while following the curved roofline. It leads directly to the rink, whose roof is supported by wooden trusses. The lobby is flanked by a pro shop, events space, lounge, and skate rental, all of which have site lines to the ice. The building’s materials are simple, bold, and durable. Concrete floors and walls are complimented by glass walls, wood mullions, and warm wood ceilings. These materials are intentionally exposed and unfinished to reduce maintenance.
The prefabricated structure is highly insulated and energy efficient. Its orientation is optimized for solar energy production of 500,000 kwh/yr and to minimize energy loads. The holistic design also integrates solar tubes for daylight harvesting, demand-control ventilation, ventilation energy recovery, refrigeration waste heat energy recovery, and heat pump technologies. These sustainable strategies result in a significant Energy Use Intensity (EUI) reduction which effectively lower operating costs.
Our goal is a community building that not only meets the recreational and competitive skating needs but also provides spaces for events. And the design, it is hoped, promotes civic pride as it conveys the artistry and beauty of its namesake’s performances.