Where a unifying and dynamic space for ice sports comes full circle

Where a unifying and dynamic space for ice sports comes full circle

The Centre de glaces de Québec is a project unlike any other: Designed for the practice of multiple ice sports with a specialization in speed skating, these public facilities encourage vitality and movement both on and off the ice—an ode to the enduring nordicity and hivernal spirit of Québec.

Inspired by the Olympic speed skating champions Québec has fostered like Gaétan Boucher and Robert Dubreuil, the Centre de glaces is a fresh gust of cool winter air at the backs of hopeful, aspiring and established athletes alike.

The structure’s oval shape reflects the balance and fluidity of gliding on ice, but it’s the element of speed in particular that informed the project from its early conceptual stages to its final form: The project’s smooth, rounded architectural features mimic a seamless forward motion found in the movements of speed skaters travelling at 60 km/h around its glacial tracks. This notion of acceleration is echoed in the passing cars on the nearby motorway, and the brisk momentum of those running or walking alongside the building.

The project’s identity is rooted in openness. Blending fluid and functional action with a refreshing and inviting feeling, the structure features a 360-degree band of windows to meet first glances and unify users with spectators. Promoting an absolute transparency, community is welcomed inside while those on the ice find a connection with the outside world, and speed skating’s high-level athletics are democratized by placing it on full view.

Along the periphery, an indoor running track completes the centre’s sports offering, echoed outside by a second track that encircles the undulating landscape mounds, rising and falling to allow for multiple viewpoints along the building’s façade. Visitors can enjoy a connection to the ice whether from the luminous hall, or from the mezzanine, projecting visitors a few meters from the skaters and right in the heart of the action.

With its 400-metre oval speed skating track and two Olympic-sized ice rinks, one for short-track speed skating and the other for ice sports such as figure skating and hockey, this sports centre is the only complex of its kind in eastern North America.

Watch how Centre de glaces de Québec benefits its community here.