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Friesland is synonymous with skating. The Elfstedentocht, Rintje Ritsma, Thialf… these are all familiar Frisian symbols. Ice skating in the Frisian capital was possible on the artificial ice at the Leeuwarden Ice Rink. But this ice rink was outdated. So the municipal council decided to build a new ice rink. Together with Fryslân Province and the foundation Stichting de IJshal. Because a Frisian capital where you can’t skate is unthinkable. … And although Kampstaal is located just outside Friesland, we were nevertheless allowed to supply both steel constructions!

Assembly in only two weeks

The Elfstedenhal will be open to skaters as of mid-September. There will be a 400-metre track and an ice hockey rink. The steel constructions for both halls are being supplied and assembled by Kampstaal. We have incorporated no less than 700 tonnes of steel into an eyecatching whole. The steel construction (and therefore the rink) has distinctive curved lines. What is most notable is the exceptional interaction between steel and wooden trusses. For the 400-metre track, the steel trusses were welded as a single composition. There are 17 of these in total; they are 38 metres long and 5 metres high! These lenticular trusses were brought to Leeuwarden using special transport. The middle section (columns and lenticular trusses) was assembled first, after which the wooden trusses were placed around using a double groove. All this took place in record time. Another exceptional aspect of this project is the scheduling. The construction of the rink was scheduled on the day, which meant that the work that was scheduled for a specific day had to be finished that day. This sometimes meant that work had to continue till late in the evening! Kampstaal assembled the 400-metre track in only two weeks. The 64 wooden trusses were also assembled by us in those same two weeks! The ice hockey rink, known as the Blue Rink, is a hall with 8 custom trusses, the corners of which are rounded off in the roof with semi-trusses. These trusses are on the top, and therefore also round, but in contrast with those of the 400-metre track, they are straight at the bottom. These trusses left our factory as a single unit, and are 36 metres long and 3.6 metres high.


A varied complex, in other words. As a whole, the venue has been designed for a broad range of uses, as it was not the intention of the rink to compete with Thialf in Heerenveen. Thialf will continue to be the ice rink for competitive racing, while the Elfstedenhal will be targeting more the ‘ordinary’ local population. Frisian kids who still have to learn to skate on the starter rink, and people wanting to improve their lap times on the shorttrack track, get some ice hockey practice in, or just go skating on the 400-metre track. This building, beautifully designed by GEAR, offers something for every type of skater, in other words. And all at a sustainable location. For example, the heat produced by the cooling system is used to heat the shower water. LED lighting is also used, of course, as are solar panels. Truly a modern rink, in other words. And an ambitious one: with the desire and possibility to welcome 50% more skaters. All in a fascinating setting, which we realised together with Bouwgroep Dijkstra Draisma / Jorritsma and other parties. The Frisians will soon rightly be proud of their new ice rink. And we as – mostly – non-Frisians are even more proud!

For more beautiful images and information, see also