The Pacific National Exhibition (PNE), which provides over 3 million annual visitors with cultural, sporting and family entertainment events, is now revamping its beloved outdoor amphitheater space to provide a world-class experience for performers and guests. The new amphitheater will have state-of-the-art infrastructure, a permanent stage, and improved seating and amenities. It will also feature a spectacular mass timber roof that connects the audience to the landscape of the north shore mountain ranges.

Project Essentials

  • Location Vancouver, BC
  • ClientThe City of Vancouver
  • ArchitectRevery Architecture
  • Size110,500 ft² (10265 m²)
  • BudgetCAD $65 million
  • Sustainable FeaturesTargets Passive Haus, LEED Gold, and Salmon-Safe Certification
PNE Amphitheatre Stage 2024 Fast + Epp

When tasked with designing the roof structure, our team worked alongside Revery Architecture to come up with a solution that would not only offer attendees protection from the elements in a column-free space, but an optimal acoustic experience as well. The result is a unique starburst arch structure that covers the amphitheater by landing on only three points. The form is comprised of six-barrel vaulted segments intersecting at diagonal planes, creating a clear span of 105m (345’) from buttress tip to buttress tip. This will be one of the longest timber arch roofs in the world, covering approximately 7,200 sq meters of area and cementing the PNE as a destination site for locals and visitors alike. It is slightly longer than the Richmond Oval completed in 2008.

As part of our design process, we created a model to understand the structural form. The scaled model was created using our 3D printer and 6 axis robotic milling machine in our Concept Lab. The 3x steel arches, central keystone, node connections as well as the foundations/buttresses were all printed, while the remaining 60x glulam arches were cut of out of ¼” plywood using the robot. The fabrication of the various components took approximately 4days (2days of 3D printing and 2days of cutting with the robot) while the assembly of all the various components took around 2hours. Lastly, all components were printed and cut at a scale of 1:100.

“The project will be designed to showcase British Columbia building products and engineering while adhering to the highest standards of environmental sustainability. ”

PNE President and CEO Shelley Frost.

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