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Skating Rinks and Wave Bathing Pools

Nature volume 134, pages 209210 (11 August 1934) | Download Citation



ICE skating rinks and wave bathing pools, being used mainly for pleasure, have until quite recently not been seriously studied from the engineering and scientific point of view. The Dolder ice skating rink at Zurich which was opened four years ago has proved such a success that Zurich is now the centre of the ice sports in Switzerland. In the Escher-Wyss News of May 1934, D. Mettler describes the open-air skating rink and wave bathing pool in Berne and points out some of the considerations that lead to commercial success. A good natural water supply is essential as a supply from the town services can never be counted on. The ideal site should be in the vicinity of a wood and on the northern side of a hill as this makes the formation of ice less expensive. It is also advisable, as at Berne, to combine with the ice rink a bathing establishment for summer use. In Zurich the ice rink is combined with a swimming bath which serves in winter as the water tank for the ice rink. Concrete, iron, copper, cork and bitumen are used in the construction of the freezing plate. As their thermal coefficients of expansion are all different and the temperature fluctuations are large the problem presented difficulties. Owing to the thermal expansion, countless minute cracks appear on the plate and this luckily allows it to ‘breathe’ without injuring the network of tubes. The production of artificial waves in a bathing pool has been studied for many months in the hydraulic laboratory of Messrs. Escher Wyss. They now produce special plant called the ‘undosa’ for the economic production of artificial waves. Neuchatel has an open air skating rink, and it appears that it is only lack of capital which prevents other Swiss towns from carrying out similar schemes.

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