For three sports venue designed for the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, there was one major goal: staying power.
The 8,000-seat Richmond Olympic Oval, by Cannon Design, is the largest of the trio, at 512,000 square feet. Completed last fall, it contains a 400-meter speeding skating track, along with VIP lounges and an anti-doping lab.
Robert Johnston, Cannon Design principal, says the integration of wood, glass, and steel in the building is meant to evoke a “Flight Flow Fusion” theme. The facility’s most distinctive feature is its 6.5-acre, curved roof made of pine-beetle “kill wood” harvested from British Columbia forests; it’s a first-time use for the maligned lumber.
The architects hope to earn a LEED-Silver certification for the $63.3 million building. Post Games, it will morph into a community fitness center and athlete’s training venue.
Designed by Hughes Condon Marler: Architects, the new Vancouver Olympic Center features a 108,000-square-foot arena and a 66,500-square-foot aquatic center. Michael Henderson, project coordinator, says that merging two venues allowed him to design a “spine,” separating the spaces physically and aesthetically.
The building was designed to achieve LEED Gold. It will host curling matches during the Olympics, and afterward will be converted into a public library, preschool, and recreation center.
Similarly, the expanded UBC Thunderbird Arena, by Kasian, aims for longevity. The 187,000-square-foot facility, which will host ice hockey events, contains one refurbished rink and two new ones and is designed to earn LEED Silver. Its success post-Games seems like a hat trick, given that ice hockey is Canada’s no. 1 sport.