Richmond Olympic Oval receives gold medal from IOC

The City of Richmond and Cannon Design Architecture have been honoured with the International Olympic Committee / IAKS Gold Medal and the International Paralympic Committee Award of Distinction for the design of the Richmond Olympic Oval (ROO), the one of 135 entries into this worldwide competition to have won both.

Dubbed “the most successful sport facility” of this year’s competition, the Oval garnered praise from the IAKS jury. “The jury was impressed by the success of this design as an Olympic icon, the commitment of the designers to creating a viable post-event multi-faceted recreation centre, and the extent to which the materiality of the design reflects, without compromise, its location.”

After hosting numerous international competitions post-Games, the ROO is now well into year one of operating as a community recreation facility. “What is most gratifying for us is that not only did the Oval do its job beautifully for the Olympic Games but it is now proving the functional analysis and economic modelling work done initially has borne fruit as we had planned,” says Bob Johnston, National Sports Practice Lead, Cannon Design. “For Cannon Design it means we have designed a relevant and valuable community resource that supports the City of Richmond’s vision as a fit and vital city.”

As a typical mid-size Canadian city, Richmond is home to approximately 15 community and recreation/sport facilities all of which require subsidies of varying amounts for operations. Yet the ROO was designed as a highly cost-efficient facility to maintain and currently costs $7.77 per square foot per year of tax-payer subsidies — well below the average subsidy which is $30.88 and dramatically less than some of the more challenging facilities which can cost up to $100 per square foot per year to maintain.

“From the start we had a vision for the Oval to be a world class venue that would provide legacies for our community for generations to come and be accessible to everyone. The Oval has won numerous awards for design and sustainability, but to receive these two prestigious awards endorsed by the IOC and IPC reinforces how successfully we fulfilled our vision,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “It’s an incredible honour for the City, the Richmond Olympic Oval and our design team led by Cannon Design.”

Gilbert Felli the IOC Executive Director for the Olympic Games commented, “The Richmond Oval was a world-class Olympic venue that is now a cutting-edge, multi-use facility for sports and recreation. The iconic venue made a great impression on all those who visited it and the millions more watching the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games around the world. Built with legacy in mind, the Richmond Oval has been greatly received by the local community and we have no doubt it will continue to spread the Olympic spirit for many years to come.”

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