View of the ice rink and warming house on The University of Chicago campus. Photography: Jim Hedrich©Hedrich Blessing

Midway Plaisance Ice Rink

Chicago, Illinois

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Area: 4,000 square feet

Site & Program: This rink and warming house are the first permanent improvements to the historic Midway Plaisance, which is owned by the Chicago Park District and located on the University of Chicago campus. It is a year-round facility that serves both town and gown.

Design: Nagle Hartray buried the warming house in the sloped bank along the edge of the Midway to minimize building height and preserve long axial views.

The lower level functions as a café and the upper level as an outdoor terrace with views over the rink and across the Midway and the University.

The stepped metal panel enclosure recalls the formation of icicles and permits easy cleanup of graffiti. The stone elevator enclosure and metal railings echo the massing and filigree of campus gothic architecture. The understated massing and colors minimize the impact to this historic site.

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