Space and Environment Design: An Ice Rink (WCC)

I chose to do an ice rink and more specifically Wake Competition Center (WCC) because I am there pretty often and have always thought ice rinks have gave off a specific vibes over my years of playing hockey.  To start, when entering an ice rink the design layout always has a cozy couch area and a concierge area.  WCC has multiple couches and places to sit in the heated area.  There is a large TV that is always playing the NHL network, something really common to find in any ice rink.  When traversing further, you’ll always find a snack bar style area that sells hot food and hot cocoa in ice rinks, along with a trophy case somewhere.  WCC is no different.

WCC has a large almost restaurant style place to get food which is labeled as a cafe. WCC then has a pro shop for hockey players where they can come to look at mostly overpriced gear.  When I was growing up, I nearly never went into a pro shop unless I had forgotten something small or was bored.  There is always an aisle in the store that has a row of sticks all labeled at $200+.


WCC then has two rinks with one on each side.  Often, these are labeled as red/blue or north/south or some directions in most rinks, but I’m unsure what WCC has them labeled as.  When entering an ice rink it just gives off some cold like scent, likely from the chemicals within the ice.  This contributes to the vibe of the ice rink.  WCC is no different.  WCC has basic bleachers on one side of the rink for people to sit and watch games from.  It is nearly the same everywhere I’ve been, bleachers like you’d find by a high school football field.  Also contributing to the design and general space of WCC is the second level with windows where coaches will evaluate players from like in hockey movies and the windows from the main lobby looking into the rink for people who can’t stand the cold.  Sometimes, you’ll see the zamboni, which will always contribute to the vibe.


Finally for hockey players, the biggest contributor to the overall space is the sounds.  The sounds of the puck hitting the boards/sticks is a big part, but the sounds of the skates cutting through the ice are very noticeable and there’s nothing like it.  If you have ever skated on an open pond where the ice hasn’t been touched before, the sounds are very pleasant and the sounds within an ice rink may not be the same as outside, they are still the most defining factor to the vibe of it all.