Revamped Thialf ice arena wins German Design Award 2018


ZJA Zwarts & Jansma Architects and DAY Creative Business Partners have won the German Design Award 2018 with their design for the revamped Thialf ice arena in Heerenveen, the Netherlands. Designed by ZJA, the Thialf ice arena 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. The German Design Award is the international prize of the German Design Council. Its goal is to discover, present and honour unique design trends. The revamped Thialf ice arena has won the German Design Award in the category architecture and excellent communications design.

In the revamped Thialf it’s all about the ice and the ice skaters. The design by ZJA is an extension of the oval structure of the existing building. All facilities - stand, press, hospitality, restaurants, offices and elite training facilities - are positioned around the ice, with a glass wall separating the surrounding promenade from the competition hall. This gives top - level sport a central position and stimulates maximum interaction between top athletes, recreational athletes and the public. Further more, the philosophy “everything is all about the ice” has led to a compact design with a logical ordering of functions and an iconic appearance inside as well as outside.

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. This led to the 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 central theme gives the ice arena an unique appearance.

Photographs: Roy Klompmaker and Marco Lubbers - Catch Your Moment