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Building a World Class Olympic Facility: Inside the Richmond Oval

The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics were a big hit for most Vancouverites. One of the most successful venues was the Richmond Olympic Oval, where speed skating took place with very high praise.


Designed by Cannon Design, the Richmond Olympic Oval is located on 32 acres of city-owned land along the Fraser River. As with other successful Olympic venues, the Richmond Olympic Oval was built with a community in mind, with the new, modern urban waterfront neighborhood hosts residential, commercial and public amenity development. Take a look inside the Olympic Oval, with insights on its design, sustainability principles and more.





Modern speed skating venues have been built as indoor facilities, due to the inconsistency of skating conditions in outdoor venues. The common issue is that speed skating facilities are very large in size and singular use speed skating venues are an incredible business challenge. With this in mind, the Richmond Olympic Oval aimed to create a multi-purpose venue usable by the community it built around it.


By using the heron — the city of Richmond’s official symbol — as a guiding theme, the design behind the Richmond Olympic Oval encompasses three primary themes: flow, flight, and fusion. These three are reflected throughout the experience for athletes. The flow celebrates the daily and seasonal cycles of sun, water, earth, and wind, while flight illustrates the elevation of the human spirit through athletic achievement and fusion takes into account the harmony between the culture of the city and the recreation facility itself.





With Vancouver’s plan to be the greenest city in the world by 2020, it was only fitting that this world-class recreation facility was built with sustainability in mind. The building received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver certification — very impressive for a building of this size and classification.


Its biggest green features are the heron-inspired feathery roof that captures rainwater that is reused throughout the facility, supplementing toilet flushing, as well as functional irrigation for nearby trees and landscaping. With the amount of ice creation in this building — runoff that is usually wasted, in most other facilities — the architects have found a way to reuse this heat energy elsewhere in the facility. Finally, the ceiling is made of salvaged pine-beetle-kill wood, as well as other salvaged trees that were taken down to build the site.



Present Usage


The Richmond Olympic Oval now serves as an incredibly inspirational community center for the public it serves. It contains two ice hockey rinks, two running tracks, a climbing wall, a rowing tank and many multi-purpose areas used for basketball, volleyball, soccer, table tennis and many other sports, activities and interactive displays. The main level hosts an ice zone, court zone and track zone, while the upper level consists of a gorgeous 200+ equipment fitness center with incredible views of Vancouver’s North Shore. Sporting events can be hosted by reconfiguring the space, furthering its future as a functional space post-Olympics.


To preserve the culture and sporting history of the Olympics, the Richmond Olympic Oval has built the most interactive sports attraction in North America: the Richmond Olympic Experience (also known as ROX). Through sports simulators, interactive challenges and the ROX theatre, it allows guests to taste what it feels like to be an Olympic athlete.


We are very proud to have the Richmond Olympic Oval as a client who utilizes PerfectMind’s enterprise software. They are a shining example of an intelligently designed Olympic stadium that made sure its legacy was one of success. To learn more about how our enterprise software can help your organization, take a look inside our best-in-class software and platform or schedule a walkthrough demo, to experience it firsthand.


What’s the most interesting Olympic facility you’ve experienced? Let us know on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Google+, to stay up to date with all of your PerfectMind news.




PerfectMind is an industry-leading member management and facility booking software provider. Its robust Platform as a Service (PaaS) serves organizations of all sizes in parks & recreation, health & wellness, fitness, and education sectors. With over 5,000 customers in 21 countries, PerfectMind streamlines business processes so organizations can focus on supporting and growing their communities.

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