A new ice-skating rink in Seoul has been designed as a lightweight structure that can be easily erected come winter and dismantled as the season ends.
Through a winning competition entry, Core Architects and Graft Object have collaborated to design a new ice-skating rink front of Seoul City Hall. The space has been used for the past four years as a place for people to enjoy winter sports under a permanent structure.
As these previous structures would be built and demolished each year, this new project envisions a ‘new structural alternative’ that embraces a more lightweight architecture and a construction type that can be easily erected and dismantled.
The project by Core and Graft Object employs a double air-dome system, allowing it to be easily reused or recycled when not in use during the winter months. The pneumatic ring is made up of transparent laminated urethane and opaque laminated urethane, which is flame-retardant.
These two layers of material are pulled together by tensile strength, utilising about 40,000 lightweight kernmantle ropes called para-cord. Air is then injected into the tube in between to form the membrane structure.
By utilising a lightweight structure, the time and labour it takes to erect and then dismantle the form is drastically reduced. In addition, the dome-like shape creates an intriguing image within the urban context, which becomes illuminated at night with internal lights inside the ring.
The planning of the site has also been considered by the design team as a place that is open to everyone and connects the adjacent buildings, such as the Seoul Library. For the duration of the winter season, the pneumatic ring ice rink intends to act as a beacon in the square, bringing people together in one space to enjoy the classic winter sport of skating.
Via designboom | Images © Taxu Lee