Edmonton Oilers and City of Edmonton Celebrate Grand Opening of HOK-Designed Rogers Place
Rogers Place, a new 18,500-seat arena for the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers, opened on September 10 with an open house for more than 60,000 fans.
The Edmonton Journal’s David Staples provided an in-depth review of the arena’s design, including the iconic winter garden, a bridge that extends across the city’s main thoroughfare to connect the adjacent mixed-use development to the arena site.
“Rogers Place is going to wow this city.”
“The new arena’s nicest aspect? The wide concourses and fine stadium bowl will be wildly popular, but for my money, the knockout punch is the grand foyer, the gigantic enclosed pedway formerly known as the Winter Garden, now branded as Ford Hall.”
“Of course, this entire part of the city was forever nowhere. It contained little but vast gravel parking lots intersected by the six grimy, busy and loud lanes of 104 Avenue. But the arena is now open, its entertainment district and plaza are being built, and the Winter Garden floats above that gritty traffic artery, uniting the north edge of the city to its central core, providing a warm, open place for people to congregate, and giving the arena its unique form.”
“The arena’s design architect, Ryan Gedney, says the Winter Garden was meant to connect the arena to the Ice District, but it’s more than that. ‘It was initially presented as a bridge connecting an arena and a district and we said, ‘Well, what if it’s just the arena jumping the street?’ The design of the arena and the Winter Garden are really one building so that it gives presence and the identity of the arena on the central plaza of the Ice District.
There are other massive bridge connections in the world, but nothing quite like this Winter Garden, Gedney says. ‘So, instead of a pedestrian bridge, which is purely transient, it’s a lobby, it’s an event space, it’s a multi-functional, multi-faceted space that really works a lot harder than just a bridge.’”