This Concept Uses Ice Skating to Generate Electricity

The design of this skating rink is one of many projects from this office that highlights the importance of natural resources and how they can influence design.

The photovoltaic ice skating rink is located in Kamchatka, Russia, high on the Eastern peninsula. Panoramic views stretch from volcanic terrain, natural hot springs and snow landscapes; the environment is a diverse ecosystem bringing tourists and locals to experience nature's extreme character, as Kamchatka is often referred to as the land of fire and ice.

The photovoltaic ice skating rink project brings multiple programs together, an ice skating rink, a cinema, and a natural hot spring. A series of striated cedar sections create a canopy choreographed around the lake defining the project's different programs, influenced by the fluid nature of ice skating with a "forest" of stanchions supporting the canopy's sinuous form.

The ice skating rink's canopy holds photovoltaic cells, acting as a type of thermostat and the scheme uses this generated electricity to keep the temperatures low enough for all-year ice hockey tournaments. All generated unused energy is fed back into the grid, the canopy absorbs as much sunlight as possible to prevent the ice rink from melting; foldable seating doubles up as platforms creating a series of flexible walkways. The solar-powered cinema is projected onto the rink's ice covered surfaces further animating the design.

The architecture's intention is to create a self-sustainable building, which uses natural resources to support the programs, solar energy and thermodynamic generators for the natural hot springs provide electricity in order to maintain it.