Red Arrow Park/ Milwaukee, WI

The redesign of this urban park nestled within Milwaukee’s downtown theatre district was the result of a private/public partnership. Central to the 53,000-square-foot space is a recreational ice rink, approximately two-thirds the size of a hockey rink. It has a permanent in-ground cooling system engineered to produce and maintain very high quality ice. In spring, the equipment is shut off and the space converts to a seating area that includes portable planters and café tables and chairs.

Skaters can warm up inside an open, light-filled, 3,000-square-foot building with concessions and skate rental. The design goal was to match the surrounding buildings, while maintaining a natural aesthetic that blends with the park’s landscape. The roof is an extension of the neighboring building’s plaza and invites people to observe the skaters below. The rough reddish concrete has a very natural, earthy feel and the smooth white concrete of the curved stairway and canopy corresponds to the surrounding buildings.


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