Lonza Arena ice hockey hall in Visp, Switzerland

Perfect view of the ice

published in sb 5/2020

The new Lonza Arena building fills a gap in the urban fabric in the municipality of Visp. With a total area of 5,700 m² and a building height of 15 m, the ice and event hall blends harmoniously into its surroundings. Its east-west orientation parallel to the main road and its recessed façade create outdoor spaces and forecourt zones. The transparent building envelope supports the basic spatial idea of merging inside and outside.

Since its official opening in September 2019, the EHC Visp ice hockey club in the canton of Valais has had a new home venue that satisfies the re­quirements of the Swiss League for the two top divisions while also serving as an event hall. The Lonza Arena can accommodate 5,000 people, 2,000 of them seated. The ice rink is also available for public ice skating.

The new building has been erected near the old ice rink. The Litternahalle built in 1978 no longer met the safety requirements of the Swiss Hockey League. The municipality of Visp established that an upgrade would have cost almost as much as the new building, in which CHF 34 million was invested.

lonza-arena -front-sb 5 2020-simon-von-gunten

photo: Simon von Gunten


lonza-arena - foyer-sb 5 2020-simon-von-gunten

photo: Simon von Gunten

Visp, Switzerland

Visp Community

Scheitlin Syfrig Architekten AG
CH-6004 Luzern

Rollimarchini AG
CH-3014 Bern

Scheitlin Syfrig Architekten AG

Simon von Guten

Official opening
September 2019

Construction costs
CHF 34 millions

(EUR 31.4 millions)

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Grandstand raised by roughly 2.3 m

lonza-arena -ice rink -sb 5 2020-simon-von-gunten

photo: Simon von Gunten

While the closed façade facing the road ­serving the residential quarter is the building’s everyday face, the glazed façade overlooking Kantonsstrasse enhances the building‘s public image. It allows the exterior and interior spaces to blur, allowing the view to flow into the building. The ground-level, light-flooded circulation area benefits from the transparent shell and gains its space from the raised grandstand above it.

The centrally positioned grandstand body forms the building‘s core, and its ice surface is kept at ground level. The spectator area is divided into four sectors; the standing areas are located at the ends, while the seating areas are alongside the ice surface. The ice rink can hold 5,000 spectators. All seats have a perfect view of the ice thanks to the raising of the first tier of stands.

Infrastructure section on the north side

The arena‘s backbone is formed by the multi-level infrastructure section on the north side and provides access for players, athletes and staff and to the restaurants. The sepa­rate fan access for sports events can be regulated here via the eastern entrance zone.

Nine changing rooms are available, the largest belonging to EHC Visp‘s first team with sanitary facilities and massage and fitness rooms. Food can be served at seven outlets in the stadium; the catering facilities also include a fondue parlour. The roof of the hall is equipped with a photovoltaic system.

The outer concrete columns merge the two volumes into one. The perforation of the aluminium shell in front of the building admits light to the functional rooms behind it, creating reciprocal relations between inside and outside.

A consortium of rollimarchini Architekten and ­Scheitlin Syfrig Architekten was responsible for the project. This cooperation made it possible to harness core competences and make sensible and profitable use of synergies.