The Richmond Olympic Oval has been honoured with the All Time Award from the International Association of Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), which is given to landmark sports facilities every 50 years.
The All Time Award is being issued at the same time of IAKS 50th anniversary, with the next award being handed out in 2065. The awards were presented during the IAKS annual Congress, which took place is Cologne, Germany, on Oct. 27. The Oval is one of 10 facilities that were honoured with the award, and is the only winner located in North America.
“We have always been proud of the visionary works that helped make the Richmond Olympic Oval an influential and notable facility, a cultural treasure for the community in the years since, and now with this award from IAKS, one of the best sports facilities of our time,” said CannonDesign principal Ken Wiseman, in a press release. “We are honoured to have worked with the City of Richmond and so many other people who helped make this building a reality.”
The Richmond Olympic Oval, designed by CannonDesign, was the signature venue during the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games. Following the games, it became the first such facility to transition into a multi-use community recreation centre and sports venue. Prior to the Oval, Olympic speed skating venues were single-use buildings that were not used by the community following the games.
During the Olympic Games, the Richmond Olympic Oval served as a 400-meter speed-skating track with 8,000 spectator seats, a fitness centre, athlete testing area, cardiovascular rehabilitation centre, wellness centre, sports medicine centre and concession area. Now, the venue offers three floors of flexible space for combined sports, recreation and community uses simultaneously. Its addition has also spurred new housing and commercial development and a City Centre waterfront park.
“We were fortunate to work with a city that challenged us to raise the bar when it came to sports design, sustainability and community engagement,” said Wiseman. “This award is further evidence of that vision as the Richmond Olympic Oval continues to leave a remarkable legacy.”
In addition to this award, the Richmond Olympic Oval has received recognition through the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Award of Excellence for Innovation in Architecture, Athletic Business’ Facility of Merit honours and ArchDaily’s Building of the Year recognition, along with several other local and regional design awards from across the continent.
In addition to the Oval, CannonDesign has worked on several other significant sports venues, and has created award-winning training centres for the US Olympic Committee and collegiate recreation and athletics facilities.