Award Winner - May 2012
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Clarence-Rockland Arena

Rockland, Ontario, Canada

S U B M I T T E D    B Y

Parkin Architects Limited in Toronto

Size: 121,500 square feet

Project Cost: $18.1 million

Quick Tour:

  • NHL-size spectator arena with 2,000 seats
  • NHL-size community arena with seating for 200
  • 11 change rooms
  • Multipurpose/training rooms
  • Community group offices
  • Upper lounge and café
  • Fitness studio
  • Two-level exposed timber lobby
  • Indoor walk/jog track
  • Outdoor soccer fields and third ice rink

Created as a joint venture between the community and the Canadian International Hockey Academy, a residential high school that balances elite hockey training with academics, the Clarence-Rockland Arena includes two NHL-size rinks, 11 changing rooms, multipurpose training and testing rooms, a fitness center and offices. Constructed as part of a 33-acre site along the Ottawa River, the arena completes a campus that also includes student residences, outdoor soccer fields, jogging trails and provision for a third exterior ice pad. The complex fulfills the recreational hockey needs of the community as well as serving as the elite training facility for the Academy. It also fills the long desired objective of a local event and entertainment venue.

In response to the desire to provide a landmark facility that welcomes spectators and participants arriving from the community's main highway, the design incorporates a glazed timber structure elevated above the entry roadway and west parking lot and centered between the two arenas, providing a visual attraction for all users.

The mass of the overall complex is broken up by means of a series of reduced scale volumes adjacent to the timber entrances. These volumes provide areas for offices and program space, and reduce the impact of the arena enclosures to a more human scale. The use of different colored composite siding together with architectural masonry accents serves to further break up the scale of the building while imparting a high-quality appearance.

Strategic planning of how users will utilize the building was necessary to avoid potential conflict or disruptive cross-circulation. To accomplish this, clear divisions between the major user groups—participants, spectators and service/support—were created. From the welcoming entrance and centrally located lobby, clear views to all activity areas and circulation routes allow users to easily orient themselves to the layout of the complex and access the appropriate area. The east entrance comprises a smaller version of the main entrance timber structure and provides the same visual focus and attraction for spectators and participants using the east side overflow parking.

The building has been divided into two distinct construction methodologies. The two arenas are constructed using a pre-engineered structural system that eliminates columns by means of a heavy gauge steel load bearing wall siding system. Nestled between the two arena volumes, the public concourse, participant area/change rooms and service areas utilize conventional construction.

The building incorporates a number of LEED-related objectives, including a reflective roof, locally sourced materials, certified woods used throughout and much more. The facility uses a great deal of recycled content, including recycled rubber skate-flooring, high fly ash content in the concrete mix, locally produced recycled glass fiber insulation and high recycled steel content of the structural steel and building system. In addition, adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings and composite woods meeting low-VOC requirements were specified. Objectives for reduced energy usage were incorporated by allowing for natural daylighting of all normally occupied spaces and incorporating occupancy sensors in publicly accessed areas. High-efficiency fluorescent light replaced the high energy HID light fixtures traditionally installed to illuminate ice pads.


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