German Design Award for revamped Thialf ice arena by DAY and ZJA

We are very proud to announce that DAY and ZJA have won the German Design Award for the design of the Thialf ice arena. The award is presented by the German Design Council to discover, present and honour unique design trends. Designed by ZJA, Thialf was given a complete new appearance. DAY created the overall vision for all spaces and experiences in Thialf, from initial vision and concept to detailed interior design and branding. Read here about the award.


The sport experience

The dynamics of entering Thialf is expressed in the design of the entrance. Two ‘arms’ of glass extend outwards to embrace the stream of visitors. During events, all visitors can easily access all the stands via a connecting promenade. Serving points and public meeting places are located along the promenade. Its glass wall increases the interaction between athletes and the public, in this way contributing to an all-round sports experience.


Optimal ice skating conditions

While the promenade inside makes meaningful connections, it also isolates the competition area from effects from the outside, thus allowing for a better indoor climate. The ice temperature can be tuned to the precision of a tenth of a degree and adjusted for each track section. In the renewed ice arena, top athletes have access to the fastest ice and the best 400-metre lowland track.


The ice rink as focus point

Both Thialf and top athletes are focussed on performance, passion, knowledge and emotion. As a result the revamped Thialf exudes top sport in everything. Visitors feel the magic and are challenged. Recreation and achievement merge into one. For the revamped Thialf, a vision for space and experience has been developed using colour, light and materialization with a central theme: FOCUS. The ice rink in Thialf is the main focus point, intensified with a lighting and colour plan that graduates from light to dark and draws the spectator’s eye to the action on the rink. 



The renewed Thialf is an extension of the oval structure of the existing building. A high level of thermal insulation, the application of underground heat and cold storage, as well as LED lighting, contribute to an energy reduction of more than 50%. Thialf not only uses but also produces energy by means of 5000 solar panels on its roof. It has the intention to fully provide for its own energy needs within 5 years. It will then also provide enough energy for 1,250 households. At this moment, the ice arena has the largest sunroof of all stadiums in the Netherlands and is the most sustainable ice arena in the world.

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