The Harold Alfond Forum sits at the southern edge of the University of New England waterfront campus in Biddeford, Maine. The forum comprises an ice rink, a field house, and an administrative and academic building. The layout of the building provides users a clear understanding of where they are in relation to the three primary uses, creating a welcoming experience for students, athletes, and the community. The ice area is situated one-half level below ground to work with existing topography, and the visual language of this large structure varies depending on what is immediately adjacent. By integrating athletic, academic, and administrative uses and relating to its surrounding context, the forum becomes an integral and vital part of the campus fabric.
Visitors arriving at the two-story main lobby have immediate access to the café located to the left of the entry, a view of the ice rink straight ahead, and direct access to the fieldhouse and athletic support facilities. A grand open stair and elevator in the lobby lead to the ice arena seating. The stair and elevator also provide access to the second level athletic offices and academic facilities that include a lounge, faculty offices, classroom and labs, and a large meeting room overlooking the ice arena and field house.
The exterior design and massing of the building reflects the three major uses of the facility. The main entry to the building is recessed and expressed on the outside by the upper area of glass wall. The primary exterior materials are metal panels, concrete masonry, and synthetic wood Alpolic siding. These materials are organized in horizontal bands of alternating color and material that work with the vertical windows to create a rhythm and variety of scale.
The ice rink and the field house are separated by a zone of locker rooms and support spaces, which are expressed on the exterior façade with metal siding modulated by areas of alternating color and a concrete masonry base. The two-story athletic administrative and academic structure is located on the west side of the building facing the parking and the pedestrian walkway that connects the building to the residential facilities and the outdoor playing fields. The façade of this portion of the building is complimentary to the adjacent residential hall and features texture, color, and materials that create a sense of scale and interest, welcoming the building users and visitors.
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