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Belgium’s Whale-like Ice Rink in Liège is Both Energy Efficient and Fun


belgium-iceLiège’s new Olympic Ice Rink, which has the rather interesting look of a beached whale, was finally completed last month. L’Escaut Architecture are responsible for the design, which is located adjacent the Médiacité shopping mall by Ron Arad. With a covering of aluminum scales, the building is kept cool and energy-efficient with the help of the envelope and some innovative cooling equipment.

Providing new facilities for ice skating, hockey and other leisure activities, Liège’s Olympic Ice Rink has a total surface area of 6,700 square meters and a seating capacity of 1,200, making it ideal for hosting international events.

With a timber frame shaped like a whale and 200,000 aluminum scales enveloping the structure, it also houses a cafeteria, skate sharpening area, a viewing lounge and storage areas. The seats of the seating area were obtained from what used to be an ice rink in Coronmeuse.

In order to keep the internal temperature at 16 °C and maintain the perfect quality of the ice, some systems to enhance the energy efficiency of the structure were used. First, few external windows were added so that a high performance covering was obtained, insulating the structure by a factor of K22, comparable to that of a passive house covering.

With four arrays of air coolers, two 1 MW units for refrigeration and a dehumidifying system provided by a 60,000 m³/h flow rate ventilation system, the temperature of the ice rink is relatively constant. Heat recovery is implemented to ensure that energy is reused, and with a planned joining of the excess heat to heating system of the nearby shopping mall, the structure is set to become even more energy efficient.

Offering premium facilities together with a design that is both unique and energy efficient, the Olympic Ice Rink of Liège promises exciting times for all its visitors.

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