THE KIDS IN THE WHALE

INGALLS  RINK
Yale University
Architect: Eero Saarinen, 1958
New Haven, CT

This fall we took a field trip to the campus of Yale University and were blown away by Eero Saarinen’s Ingalls Rink, an absolute gem of a hockey facility which opened in 1958. The quality of modern architecture on the Yale campus is incredible, a Who’s Who of the great Modernists: Louis I Kahn’s Center for British Art, Paul Rudolph’s Art and Architecture Building, Gordon Bunshaft’s Beinecke Library, but our true affection was for “The Whale”. The most striking feature of this 3,500-seat venue is the 90-meter long concrete arch that spans the entire length of the space, creating a column-free interior and inspiring its nickname. The Ingalls’ roof is quintessential Saarinen, whose more well-known structures, such as JFK Airport’s TWA Terminal and the iconic St. Louis Gateway Arch, also feature bold, organically inspired forms. Located on the North end of Yale’s urban campus, Ingalls is home to the 2013 NCAA Division I Mens Hockey Champions, the Yale Bulldogs as well as weekend youth hockey teams from across the New England region, as I saw one Saturday afternoon last Fall.