Yale Hockey Rink
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Architect Eero Saarinen
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Location New Haven, Connecticut   map
Date 1956 to 1958   timeline
Building Type hockey rink, ice skating rink, sports stadium
Climate temperate
Context urban
Style Expressionist Modern
Notes curving Viking backbone




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Discussion Yale Hockey Rink Commentary

“Situated on the Yale campus, the rink is of standard size and seating is arranged round it for 2,800 people. When the rink is used for other purposes the accommodation can be increased to 5,000. The building’s plan is elliptical and cast-concrete walls run round the two long edges of the ellipse. These walls slant upwards and outwards at an angle of 15 degrees; above them the drama of the roof occurs. A central arch spans the major axis of the ellipse and from this great spin-like arch, cables take out two catenary curves in both directions. The concave and the convex forms create a mutual tension and through this a dynamic building emerges.”

— Dennis Sharp. Twentieth Century Architecture: a Visual History. p225.

The Creator's Words

“...the concept of the building was arrived at as a completely logical consequence of the problem. There was the site, an open seemed a place where one could express the special nature of this absolutely independent building and could express its structure freely.”

— Eero Saarinen. Dennis Sharp. Twentieth Century Architecture: a Visual History. p225.

Sources on Yale Hockey Rink

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. ISBN 0-442-21668-8. LC 84-3543. NA2750.C55 1984. plan and section diagram, p155. — Updated edition available at

Toshio Nakamura, ed. Architecture and Urbanism Extra Edition: Eero Saarinen. A + U E8404, April, 1984. Tokyo: A + U Publishing Co.. Interior photo, p84.

Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani. Architecture of the 20th Century in Drawings: Utopia and Reality. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 1982. exterior sketch 1953, p30.

Eero Saarinen. Eero Saarinen On His Work. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1968. transverse section drawing, p64. longitudinal section drawing, p64.

Toshino Nakamura, ed. "David S. Ingalls Hockey Rink, Yale University, 1956-59", A+U Extra Edition. April 1984. p76. drawing of plan, p83.  Find books about Yale Hockey Rink


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