A stone’s throw from rich forests, the City of Armstrong was eager to build a landmark recreational facility that would showcase locally-manufactured wood products. However, it was only when a local forest products company donated a significant portion of the building materials and equipment did the city’s dream of building a 400-seat NHL-sized arena become viable.

Project Essentials

  • LocationArmstrong, BC
  • ClientThe City of Armstrong
  • ArchitectCEI Architecture + GEC Architecture
  • Size27,000 ft² (2,508 m²)
  • BudgetC$8 million

The required 40m span was not economically feasible with a pure glue-laminated structure because of the large member sizes, transportation costs, and the need for site splicing of connections. Undeterred, Fast + Epp proposed custom cantilevered steel trusses to shorten the main span of the curved roof to an economical 30m.

The final solution utilizes inverted triangular trusses that sit on steel columns, offset from a large retaining wall at the south side of the building. The main roof rests on the tip of the cantilevered truss, with its back end tied down to the concrete wall; its weight is counterbalanced by the mass of the earth bank. The main span, meanwhile, uses a queen post truss system with glue-laminated top chords, steel V-struts and slightly-splayed double tension tie cables.

The Armstrong Arena is a testament to creativity, innovation and community willpower – no matter how tight the budget.


  • Wood WORKS! British Columbia

    2007 Wood Design Award - Engineer