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In the renewed Thialf Ice Arena in Heerenveen, designed by ZJA Zwarts & Jansma Architects, everything is all about the ice skaters and the ice experience. In the renewed ice arena, top athletes have access to the fastest ice and the best 400-metre lowland track. Innovation and sustainability play an important role in the renewed Thialf. Moreover, the temperature and humidity are easy to adapt to specific requests and needs. The experience is enhanced by using blended white and blue colours, and the transparent promenade surrounding the competition area. After two years of renovation, Thialf is again the fastest and most modern lowland ice arena where skating records are broken. On the 27th of January, King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands will inaugurate Thialf.

The promenade is the connecting element of all functions. During events, all visitors can easily access all the stands via this promenade. Serving points and public meeting places are located along the promenade. A 400-meter long glass wall separates the promenade from the competition area, with all areas overlooking the ice of Thialf. By positioning all the facilities around the ice, top-level sport has been given a central position and maximum interaction between top athletes, recreational athletes and the public is stimulated. In this, the glass wall determines the sports experience in the renewed Thialf.

Climate areas
The promenade isolates the unpredictable outside weather from the competition area and allows for a better control of the indoor climate in Thialf. In the renewed Thialf moist air, brought in by wet coats, is dispersed outside. This creates climate segregation by an air curtain between the public and the competition area. Thialf has different climate areas within the ice rink, stand and the promenade that can be managed separately. These new climate areas are one of the key new enhancements of the renewed Thialf.

Sustainable ice arena
Thialf is able to provide in its own energy needs, due to having 5000 solar panels, the largest sunroof on a stadium in the Netherlands. In addition, by making use of an underground heat and cold storage, a large amount of energy is saved. The ice arena also makes use of energy efficient LED lighting that produces little heat, and is extremely well insulated, which all together provides a great energy saving. Thialf has the intention to fully provide in its own energy needs in the near future.

For the design of Thialf, commissioned by Heddes Bouw & Ontwikkeling, ZJA worked in close cooperation with the construction consortium consisting of Heddes Bouw & Ontwikkeling, Croonwolter&dros, Warmtebouw and Day Creative Business Partners.

Press Release ZJA Zwarts & Jansma Architects
Images copyright Roy Klompmaker

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