The first phase in the replacement of an aging community centre, Trout Lake Arena was to serve as a practice facility for 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Project Essentials

  • LocationVancouver, BC
  • ClientThe City of Vancouver
  • ArchitectFrancl Architecture
  • Size43,000 ft² (3,994 m²)
  • BudgetC$12 million
  • Sustainable FeaturesCertified LEED Silver

Fast + Epp’s challenge was to create a 40m clear-span structure that would reconcile the clients’ wish to use wood and the architect’s desire for a mid-span clerestory window along the length of the roof – on a tight budget.

Our solution was counterintuitive, yet in the circumstances quite rational – a Vierendeel arch truss to run north-south along the length of the building that would use its depth to form the clerestory.


  • Association of Consulting Engineering Companies British Columbia

    2011 Award of Merit

The steel truss divided the building’s width into two spans of 14m and 26m respectively, making glue-laminated beams an economical proposition. The main arch was fabricated using welded wide flange steel and spanned two cast-in-place concrete buttress walls. The top chord of the arch supported the high roof glulams and the bottom chord supports low roof glulams. The result: shorter spans facilitate glulam beams as primary support elements, allowing natural daylight to stream into the building through the open panels in the steel truss.

The arena is an economical and aesthetically-striking example of unconventional design ingenuity and has become a thriving legacy venue in East Vancouver