The Tondiraba Ice Hall, is a multi-purpose indoor arena complex in Tallinn, Estonia. It was opened on 1 August 2014 and is owned by the City of Tallinn.The sports complex is situated in a former Soviet residential area – Lasnamäe. It is one of the first buildings that is intended to revitalize the area. KTA Architects won the competition which was held 2012 to reimagine the area.
Because of the volume of Tondiraba Ice Hall being considerably bigger than the neighbouring buildings, it was essential to downscale it with a patterned facade. Inspiration for Tallinn Arena’s window rhythm comes from ice crystals. After the sun has set the glimmering lights of the Arena act as an image of various apartment block windows. The articulated and varied distribution of windows gives a feeling as if the building wasn’t a single volume, but as if it´s part of the surrounding urban space and fragmented sets of light spots.
The main arena area is complemented by laminated timber trusses that span more than 60 metres. Timber trusses help to soften the effects of the masculine concrete and black seats. Practice rinks also boast timber trusses.
Tondiraba Ice Hall is a three-storey multifunctional building. The basement level featuresthe main arena, two practice rinks and a curling rink. The main arena can be used for practice and competition in figure skating, hockey, volleyball, handball, basketball, gymnastics and other sports, it can also be used for different events such as concerts, seminars and other gatherings.The other two practice rinks can be used for figure skating, speed skating and ice hockey. The curling rink is specially made for curling practices and competitions. Basement level also holds changing rooms, techincal rooms, laundry, doping testing, bathrooms and a gym. The Ground Floor is intended for the visitors, it features a cafe, generous public space around the main arena. The first floor houses the techincal rooms, private and commentator boxes.
Interior design is in harmony with architectural simplicity and minimalism. Constructive concrete surfaces are exposed. Ground floor concrete panels and columns are grooved. Concrete contrasts with the wood that covers wall surfaces of public areas and acts as acoustic panels on the ceiling.
„The ice arena building – aesthetically pleasing, with complicated engineering under the hood and multifunctional uses – was built on schedule in 14 months. It’s a complicated structure, full of special solutions, from the 4,500 reinforced concrete elements, 2,000 square metre seamless concrete floor to the imposing 62-metre span wooden girders. Noteworthy in the case of the arenas is that the 2,000-square-metre concrete surface under the ice was poured with no joints and yet no cracks have developed there. The floor surface is about 4 metres underground, on the -1 level. Painted white and masterfully covered with concrete, the ice hall’s concrete encases cold pipes 8 cm apart where water-glycol solution is used as the heat transfer fluid. But for the practice rinks, an ammonia solution will be used – it’s less viscous and will save pumping energy. The concrete is insulated and was poured on to a sand substrate, which in turn is surrounded by heating pipes to prevent it from freezing. Residual heat drawn from heat exchangers in the ventilation system is used to keep the temperature high enough so permafrost does not form. A total of 8 kilometres of floor heating pipes and 8.7 kilometres of cooling pipes for ice making were installed.
In total, close to 9400 m³ of concrete, 1400 m³ of laminated wood and tens of kilometres of pipe and cable were used, and the peak period saw up to 10 cranes on the site, representing a total of 1,000 tons of lift power. The building is made even more unique by the maximum 62 metre span wooden girders in the main arena, which were delivered in three instalments and installed on the spot to a millimetre’s accuracy. The installation of the girders started from the curling rink; then the work moved on to the practice rinks and finally, the main arena. The girders were made by OÜ Peetri Puit. The 4,500 wall elements were made at E-Betoonelement and were installed in four months using four cranes in everyday cooperation with AS Merko Ehitus Eesti’s concrete work department.“ As Merko Ehitus Eesti