With an in depth renovation in 2011, one of the oldest ice rink in Europe has returned to its former glory. Mondo participated in this project by providing most of the flooring in the building housing the rink.
Opened in 1870, the ice rink is, for the City Park of Budapest (Városligeti Műjégpálya), one of the oldest in Europe and one of the largest in the world. Considered a historical monument, after a period of neglect that lasted over forty years, this artificial ice rink has once again become one of the favorite places for citizens and tourists visiting the Hungarian capital. After it underwent major renovations, the rink and the building housing it has returned to its former glory, allowing visitors to enjoy a place full of the charisma and charm of past times.
When the renovation project was approved in December 2008, the intentions were clear: revive a place that had once been the center of social life in Budapest, thus providing the city an additional attraction to bring tourists to the Hungarian capital. The work, which involved both the rink and the buildings that belonged to the facility, began in 2009 with the reconstruction of the ice rink.
With the renovations, the rink now measures 12,000 square meters, a 15% increase from the former surface area, and includes an area for ice hockey. The quality of the ice surface is provided by about 210 km of pipes embedded in a cooling system.
The renovation of the main building, built in 1893, made it possible to restore its original appearance of the late nineteenth century. One of the most important concerns was the recovery wing of the building, which was bombed during World War II. The inside of the building has been restored and the rooms appear as they were in 1926. Some areas have been expanded to allow the installation of a tourism center and a room for events, which allows them to host events such as exhibitions and conferences.
The new facility, which cost 4.7 billion forins (of which about three were taken from the European Fund for Regional Development) was immediately put to the test by hosting, a few days after its public opening on December 16, 2011, the European Championship of Speed Skating (held from January 6 to 8, 2012). A test that the facility overcame brilliantly.
One of the problems that the designers faced was the need to use a floor suitable for the common areas designed to accommodate people wearing skates. The problem was overcome by relying on Mondo and Ramflex flooring.
" Ramflex 6mm flooring was installed in all areas where people often moves with skates, before or after being on the ice, in the locker rooms and the rest rooms.. A total of 1,650 square meters of gray Ramflex were installed, at the designers’ request, except in the rest rooms where black was chosen. The choice was set on Ramflex because we needed a material that is particularly resistant and that’s one of the major characteristics of the Mondo product. The result was excellent, "said Laszlo Kende of the TopTrade.
The renovation of the skating rink has allowed the recovery of the entire area around the structure contributing to the emergence of initiatives and events throughout the year. If indeed during the winter months the rink is being used for ice skating, in the summer it becomes the ideal place to spend days outdoors, devoted to rowing or sailing on the lake in small boats.
During the warmer months, the area where the rink is located is filled with water to create an artificial lake which shores are home to artistic and cultural events, such as the exhibition Art on Lake. Before the restructuring, the lake was not nice and the neglect had caused a drastic decrease in the Town Park visitors. With the renovation occurring between 2009 and 2011, it rendered a service to the entire city, expanding the possibilities for tourist attraction in Budapest.