Architecture and design firm LPA has designed California's largest ice skating facility in Irvine. Dubbed the Great Park Ice and Five Point Arena, the project combines the largest community ice complex in the region with a training facility for the Anaheim Ducks of the National Hockey League (NHL). The $110 million project was designed around the vision of Ducks owners, Henry and Susan Samueli, to create a public resource that promotes ice sports, health and wellness.
The 280,000-square-foot community center includes four sheets of ice, a multipurpose arena with 2,500 seats and a 3,500-square-foot public “beach” with 7,000 cubic feet of sand. In addition to serving as a center for hockey and skating, amenities include a pub, amphitheater, classrooms and outdoor public spaces. Three ice sheets are designed to NHL regulations; the fourth meets Olympic standards and will serve as the training facility for the U.S. Figure Skating team.
The design expresses the balance of an ice facility in Southern California’s desert climate. The design team incorporated the various phases of water throughout, including vapor, liquid and frozen, guiding guests through a sequential experience as they journey through the facility. They are greeted by a palm tree- lined pedestrian walkway and a 35,000-square-foot beach with boardwalk made of IPE wood. The building’s facade features a ripple of silver fins, mimicking the surface of the ocean, with pops of orange to represent the Ducks. In the curving hallways leading to the ice, the blue glass façade immerses guests in blue light, similar to the experience of a winding river. The design merges the needs of professional athletes with a state-of-the-art community center. Separate facilities for athletes include a team lounge and locker room, a training room and a film room for game analysis. The materials used throughout the facility are recycled and sustainable. The facility is designed to operate 20 percent more efficiently than California’s Title 24 requirements.
Great Park Ice was financed by the Irvine Ice Foundation, a nonprofit created by the Samueli’s. At the end of the 50-year lease, ownership will revert to the community.