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Richmond Olympic Oval


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The world's largest oval

Location: Richmond (suburb south of Vancouver)

Distance from Vancouver Olympic Village: 15 km

Venue Capacity: 8,000 seats

Elevation: Sea level

Cost: CAN$170 million

Venue Description

The Richmond Oval site is located on the banks of the Fraser River, 25 minutes south of the Olympic Village in downtown Vancouver. The site, in the northwest corner of Richmond, is across the river from Vancouver International Airport and near the Richmond city centre.

Construction Update

The Richmond Oval will be an outstanding theatre for sport with a new 400-metre track housed in a 33,750-square-metre facility. Key design elements include a state-of-the-art ice plant with superior air quality and climate controls. Facilities and systems will include offices, timing and athlete monitoring equipment, and fitness and strength training areas. Construction began in September 2005 with a completion date of Fall 2008.

Post-Games Use

After the Games, the oval will become an international centre of excellence for sports and wellness. The oval’s flexible design will allow it to be used for a variety of sport and community functions. The oval will be the centrepiece of a major new urban waterfront neighbourhood featuring a mix of residential, commercial and public amenity development.

Olympic mode

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Post-Games mode

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Lobby exterior

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Exterior

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  • 1 month later...

I just walked by the Oval last night as it's only about 5 minutes away. They just have one more arch to put up, and the building is looking spectacular. But as i was walking by, I saw a sealion swimming and a crane wading in the water... this truly makes our oval a unique mixture of nature and technology.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Those wooden cross members are written up in a Vancouver Magazine article this month (below). Apparently they are made from small 2x4s of pine beetle lumber all nailed together.

Golden Arches

One of the lasting legacies of the 2010 Games is likely to be the stunning roof that surmounts the Richmond Oval

By Trevor Boddy

Goldenarches.jpg

Image credit: Martin Tessler

Fine engineering—like fine art or fine wine—is about elegance, balance, and efficiency. Consider the roof at the Richmond Oval: the most original, innovative, and pleasing structure designed for the upcoming Winter Games. Deep arches leap over the ice surface where latex-slicked speed-skaters will race round and round. Each arch is something of a V-shaped blade itself, its ice-side terminating in an acute steel angle. It’s as if some behemoth Hans Brinker is about to break through the ribbed ceiling.

Set into these vaulting blades are four-foot-deep sections of composite wooden panels. These arched panels were the largest that could be shipped on flat-bed trucks from the Deas Island factory of StructureCraft Inc. to the site on River Road. The steel blade arches went up first, beginning this summer; then arched panels were set on either side to complete the roof. Each panel’s V-rib is stuffed with acoustics-improving mineral wool; fire-suppression pipes and nozzles are also threaded through the ribs. Design engineer Paul Fast has struck an artful balance here, mixing the strength (but cost) of steel with the malleability and local sheen (plus bang for buck) of the B.C.-made beams.

Long before our standard markets for dimension lumber collapsed in the U.S. housing meltdown, Fast’s partner, engineer Gerry Epp, was designing value-added uses for B.C.’s forest harvests (as in the timber columns and plywood peeler core-space frames his firm devised for Bing Thom’s Surrey Central City). As Epp was figuring out the roof, the scale of mountain pine beetle kill was becoming apparent. With blue-stained pine piling up at B.C. sawmills (beetle discolouration doesn’t affect structural properties, but is thought to be a marketing liability, and the size of the dead pines means that only small-dimension lumber can be cut from them), Fast + Epp found a way to span one of the largest clear-span roofs in the province almost entirely with gang-nailed two-by-fours. Total cost: about $16 million.

Most of the world’s finest engineers built their reputations with steel or concrete structures. Fast + Epp may soon join their ranks by showing how a renewable resource can accomplish everything that high-tech structures can, and more.

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  • 1 month later...

roo1024px.jpg

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Olympic oval roof completed

Marking another milestone on the road to the 2010 Winter Games, the last section of the unique “wood wave” roof of the Richmond Oval was put into place. Spanning 6.5 acres, the roof, primarily constructed of BC pine beetle kill wood, will become one of the most noticeable features of the Richmond Oval and an integral part of the Richmond skyline.

To celebrate the roof raising, Premier Gordon Campbell, Parliamentary Secretary for Federal Olympic Secretariat James Moore, Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie and the Richmond City Council joined VANOC Chief Executive Officer John Furlong and other guests in signing the last panel of the fifteenth and final section of the roof before it was lifted into place.

For four time Paralympic wheelchair basketball player and Beijing 2008 hopeful Jennifer Krempien, signing the roof was especially poignant. “It is exciting to watch the Oval blossom into a state-of-the-art facility with the needs of the community and athlete at the heart of the design. The Oval will be a tremendous facility to support Canada's high performance Olympic and Paralympic athletes. Having a facility that is accessible to all athletes and community members is just one more example of how Canada strives to be a world leader in supporting our athletes.”

The community celebration

The dignitaries weren’t the only ones to commemorate the event. Over the weekend, 8,000 members of the community, including many members of the construction team, came out to celebrate and sign their names to the final panel of this unique structure. The event turned into a large community celebration with Paralympic swimmer Donovan Tildesley and Olympic freestyle mogul skier Chris Wong on hand to sign autographs. Hot chocolate, live music, a magic show and face painting rounded out the event.

A community facility

The large turn out is the start of a tradition of community involvement for the Oval. Located on the banks of the Fraser River, the Oval will host the 12 speed skating events during the 2010 Winter Games including the popular men’s and women's team pursuit events. Post-Games, the Richmond Oval will transition into a show-case multi-purpose facility.

“The Oval will provide great benefits for our community for generations to come,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “With its twin focus on sports and wellness, it will have programs and services that will appeal to the entire community, regardless of their age, fitness or physical ability.”

Designed to transition between a speed skating facility, elite athlete training zone, international sports venue, neighbourhood recreation centre and elderly rehabilitation area, the Richmond Oval will be a centre for sports of all kinds and a lasting testament to the Olympic spirit. In its legacy mode, the facility will house two international-sized hockey rinks, eight indoor gymnasiums, an indoor track and field facility, and numerous other health and wellness areas. Additionally, the City of Richmond recently announced that four large gymnasium floors will be installed inside the 400-metre skating track for pre-Games community use.

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I really liked the pictures of the Richmond Olympic Oval. I like both the exterior and interior designs! :)

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Well, it's a expensive $160 million structure with the largest footprint for any Olympic oval building in the world.

You also can't build a steel structure or anything too heavy as it would just sink...the site, or rather the island it is on, is a river delta. The soil is weak, and they are expecting the structure - as is - will sink.

IMO, it's a pretty unique design with the wood and all....note that the public is not willing to spend even more on venue. It's already the most expensive Olympic sports venue being built.

There's also legacy in mind with this Olympic venue. It will become a large community centre afterwards, for the rapidly growing population in Richmond.

1_Richmond_Oval.jpg

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If its too expensive, going to sink and hardly has a legarcy why was it built in the first place? The fact its the biggest Olympic oval is no claim to fame either so i wouldnt go around making it out to be either.

The building will sink enough that in about 10 years time, it won't be able to host speed skating competitions as the speed skating federation does not permit any grade changes along the track, even a tenth of a milimetre.

It won't be a speed skating legacy, but it will be a significant legacy to the city as it will act as a major community centre with two ice rinks and courts:

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During 2010

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Why was it built? We're hosting the 2010 Olympics which require a speed skating oval. Duh!

The City of Richmond came forward to VANOC with a proposal to build it in their city at this site, with most of the cost coming from the city's casino and nearby real estate revenue.

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....and there's no point in having two speed skating ovals in Western Canada anyway, the other being in Calgary which is currently being upgraded and because of its location (thousands of kilometres higher up) it gives athletes an advantage for beating world records. It's also the main training centre in the nation for speed skating.

Had the 2010 speed skating oval stayed at its originally proposed site at Simon Fraser University, it wouldn't have stayed as a speed skating oval either after the Games. The university had plans to turn it into a field house.

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Why was it built? We're hosting the 2010 Olympics which require a speed skating oval. Duh!

The City of Richmond came forward to VANOC with a proposal to build it in their city at this site, with most of the cost coming from the city's casino and nearby real estate revenue.

Do you think i'm that dense? Thats insulting. Ofcourse something has to be built, im just wondering, with the obvious sinking problem and high cost, why was such a venue design chosen (when a lesser one could do) and why this particular site. You've mention the casino and real estate perks but surely a resourceful city like Vancouver could've applied its plan better if there are these notable issues. It just seems a strange planning move considering how good the urban planning strategies are currently in place in Vancouver.

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Do you think i'm that dense? Thats insulting. Ofcourse something has to be built, im just wondering, with the obvious sinking problem and high cost, why was such a venue design chosen (when a lesser one could do) and why this particular site. You've mention the casino and real estate perks but surely a resourceful city like Vancouver could've applied its plan better if there are these notable issues. It just seems a strange planning move considering how good the urban planning strategies are currently in place in Vancouver.
it has been applied as its legacy and long terms used is already secured as oppose to being "white elephants". as what was said, there is now use for two speed skatign arena's in western Canada. the Calgary facility is still considered as havign the best ice surface and to this date is still used and produces world records.
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Building it in Richmond was stoopid: sand soil, under sea level, in a subduction quake zone, in the delta of a major river. Should've built it in Richmond/SFU as planned.

But there are seriously negative and whiny w*ank@rz on this board. <b>Get.A.Life.</b> if you can't find anything positive to say about anything.

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Do you think i'm that dense? Thats insulting. Ofcourse something has to be built, im just wondering, with the obvious sinking problem and high cost, why was such a venue design chosen (when a lesser one could do) and why this particular site. You've mention the casino and real estate perks but surely a resourceful city like Vancouver could've applied its plan better if there are these notable issues. It just seems a strange planning move considering how good the urban planning strategies are currently in place in Vancouver.

A few year ago, VANOC realized that the original plan for the Olympic oval atop the mountain of Simon Fraser University (SFU) was going to cost quite a bit more than they had originally budgeted for in the bid. There were geotechnical and accessibility issues, as it would have been built atop a hillside....not to mention the rising costs in labour and materials as a result of the booming economy.

They didn't want to go back to the government for money, so they opened it up to municipalities in the region in a tendering process. One of the proposals was to relocate it as part of the secondary ice hockey venue complex at the University of British Columbia. Another proposal was for it to be part of the curling complex. There was also a campaign by the SFU and the City of Burnaby to keep the oval at the university, however, the City of Burnaby was unwilling to provide any civic public money to the project.

But with Richmond, they had deep pockets. They proposed that VANOC contribute $60 million to their oval plan, and that Richmond contribute the remaining $100 million including any additional construction costs....they had recently just opened a huge casino, with the private operators giving back tens of millions in profits every year to the city. And then, there was a major $130 million land sale deal...the city sold a parcel of waterfront land next to the oval site to one of the city's largest condo tower developers (and yes, the industrial area around the city will be transformed into condos after the city).

The Richmond proposal meant that VANOC would be able to pay $10 million less than what the bid book had originally budgeted for the SFU oval (about $70 million). At the end of the day, VANOC was looking out for its own financial interests rather than the interests of the community and the legacy of the venue.

Anyhow, the original SFU oval site is now going to be a $250 million major sports complex, including an Olympic-sized pool and athletic training facilities. It's a much bigger legacy than the Olympic oval would have been.

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Anyhow, the original SFU oval site is now going to be a $250 million major sports complex, including an Olympic-sized pool and athletic training facilities. It's a much bigger legacy than the Olympic oval would have been.

Exactly, I always wondered whether Canada needed two world class ovals in the country.

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Building it in Richmond was stoopid: sand soil, under sea level, in a subduction quake zone, in the delta of a major river. Should've built it in Richmond/SFU as planned.

But there are seriously negative and whiny w*ank@rz on this board. <b>Get.A.Life.</b> if you can't find anything positive to say about anything.

harden up mate. These boards would be just like the news site if we just posted stories and talked about how good they are.

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Exactly, I always wondered whether Canada needed two world class ovals in the country.

And even had the oval stayed at SFU, the university was planning to turn it into a field house after the Games....we wouldn't have had an post-Games speed skating oval either way.

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