The Anaheim Ice Arena

Engineered wood was chosen by Architect Frank Gehry for construction of the Anaheim Ice Arena for two reasons: budget and aesthetics. According to the Matt Construction, General Contractor, structural steel had originally been selected as the primary structural building product but the owner’s budget could not be met with steel. So after consulting with Western Wood Structures the switch to Glulam took place and the result was an affordable building that is aesthetically pleasing.

Eleven rows of large double-curved Glulam beams spaced at 24’ centers span two ice rinks in a saddle-shape. The main Glulams follow the curved shape of the exterior building profile and from the outside the curvature of the roof system resembles “mouse ears” a look that the owner, Disney Development, was seeking.

Moment splices were utilized to facilitate shipment of the curved Southern Yellow Pine Glulams from Albert Lea, Minnesota to downtown Anaheim.

The purlins are solid sawn Douglas fir timbers spaced at 48” centers and the roof sheathing is 1-1/8” T & G plywood. Installing the thick plywood to the 75-foot radius of the roof structure was not an easy task. The end walls are constructed of Glulam columns, sawn timber horizontal girts, and ½” fire retardant treated plywood. The arena meets the city fire codes because it is designed as Heavy Timber construction.


The dual rink facility has an NHL sized ice rink to meet the practice needs of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks and an Olympic sized rink to meet the community recreational skating needs as well as youth hockey leagues. Western Wood Structures installed this 88,000 s/f roof system in just 3 months.

Anaheim Ice Rink Case Study