Centre de glaces Intact Assurance
By : Lemay & Ardoises Architecture
GRANDS PRIX DU DESIGN – 15e édition
Discipline : Interior Design : Grand Winner
Categories : Culture, Sport & Leisure / Gym, Sports & Recreation Center : Gold Certification, Platinum Winner
The floating ring
Located on the site of the former Gaétan Boucher outdoor ice ring and annexed to the Centre sportif de Sainte-Foy, the Centre de glaces de Québec required a sensitive approach that would promote community appropriation and user comfort. At 400 metres, the project is the first indoor ice skating ring of this size in Quebec, and includes two Olympic-sized rinks for short-track speed skating, figure skating and hockey, all surrounded by a 465-metre athletic track with three lanes.
To promote openness between the centre’s users and the outside world, the volume surrounding the ice was raised to create a 360-degree window. With this gesture, the form follows the structure’s function, as well that of its site. The exterior is on the scale of an adjacent highway, while its interior is on that of the individual. Calm yet confident, leaving the richness of the interior to speak for itself, the exterior embraces a nordicity of place, reflected in surface of the ice: The building’s shape evokes its use, transposing the speed, dynamism, balance, and fluidity of the skater. Seen from afar, the centre slowly reveals itself to motorists through the embankments on its site, a landscape which contributes a natural screen between the building and the highway, the shape of which is in turn echoed in the envelope.
Inside, the ring integrates a multimedia banner which conceals the building’s inner mechanics while lifting the bleachers. Covered with wood, this gesture helps to maintain the project’s human scale, and directs gazes towards the exterior. With delicate spaces, each detail is exacted to pay homage to a magnificent sport where, for the first time, skaters are at the heart of the landscape and protected by a delicately floating ring.