When you set out to build a recreational facility, whether that’s an ice rink, swimming pool or gymnasium, working with the right partner is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. 

You’ll need to find someone who can turn your dreams into realities, all while providing exceptional service and outstanding guidance. But before you decide on a recreational facility architect, ask them these four questions.

  1. What kind of experience do you have?

Building a recreational facility can come with unique challenges. For instance, in an ice arena, humidity or other factors within the environment can make these projects easy to mess up if you’re not familiar with how they function. And if you do, that’s an expensive mistake to make. You certainly don’t want your architect learning on your project, which is why it’s so important to find one with experience building a recreational facility. 

Your friend might be a phenomenal architect, but are they an architect with experience in designing a recreational facility? We’ve been doing this for a long time, and we know experience goes a long way in making sure your recreational facility is done right—and done well. 

  1. Can you think outside the box?

It’s important to not only hire an architect with experience, but also one that can think outside the box. We’re talked with people from coast to coast that run rinks—from public rinks to private rinks. We combine all those stories and experiences into a programming session and bring those ideas to you. 

While many architects can be experts in recreational facilities and ice rinks, they may not have that broad knowledge of what's happening in other parts of the country or new trends. We get to talk to so many different rink operators in so many different rinks around the country. This helps us think outside the box and bring unique ideas to the table that can be added to your project. In the end, this leads to increased efficiency, or even finding new ways for your facility to generate revenue. 

  1. What are the steps in your design process?

Knowing the steps of a project is just as important as seeing a rendering of a completed facility. At HTG, we utilize a process called InVision. This is a multi-faceted approach that accounts for every stage in the design process, and will keep you informed and engaged 

Most of our clients don't build a building every day, so they don't necessarily understand what goes into it. With InVision, we give them a roadmap that shows the steps in the process, so they understand what they’re building. This helps them understand what needs to happen from start to finish—everything from how to get the project off the ground to how to generate excitement.

  1. Can you share a few references?

Everything might look good on paper, but it’s critical to ask your architect for references. Ask them to guide you toward individuals with similar projects, so you can gain a better understanding of everything from the process to the end result. 

When you can connect with someone in a similar situation, you can see what it takes to make a project successful. You’ll also be able to network with people who can show you what it might take to operate the rink, how they deal with expenses or other factors. 

Published on May 23, 2023

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