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The Richmond Olympic Oval, by Cannon Design, was the most significant new facility constructed for the 2010 Winter Games. Its gently curved wooden ceiling, constructed from salvaged local lumber damaged by pine-beetle infestation, is an architectural marvel. Innovatively engineered by Fast+Epp, the ceiling’s aesthetic and acoustical qualities create an interior environment that is warm and inviting. Much was made of the energy and environmental performance of Vancouver’s Olympic venues, and with its innovative material reclamation, heat recovery, and rainwater collection features, the Richmond Olympic Oval is no exception.
Richmond’s Oval will be converted into a multipurpose athletic facility at the conclusion of the Games, at the expense of the 400-metre long-track: just as well, given that this ice is proving to be notoriously slow. The Calgary Oval will remain Canada’s primary training facility for elite skaters, while the Richmond Oval is envisioned to become the athletic focal point of a new waterfront community.
- Jesse Jackson