UB Exhibition Celebrates a New Architecture Created for the 2010 Winter Olympics

Vancouver's Richmond Oval also will be subject of illustrated lecture today

Release Date: February 1, 2010

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Vancouver's Richmond Oval, the 2010 Olympic speed-skating venue, is notable for its elegant internal spaces that feature wood trusses and innovative ceiling panels.

After the Olympics, the Oval will be converted to a multi-use sport facility that will include two 0lympic-sized ice rinks, as well as other features.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Richmond Oval, designed for the 2010 Winter Olympics, is the focus of a new, specially created exhibition at the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning. The exhibition, which traces the design process from early conceptual sketches to technical drawings, also includes photographs of the construction and the completed building, together with a large model built by graduate students in the architecture program at UB.

The exhibition in the Hayes Hall Lobby Gallery on UB's South Campus will be open until Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The collaborative project was made possible by the generous support of the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers, Canadian Consulate General of Buffalo and Cannon Design.

The Richmond Oval was designed by Cannon Design and constructed by Fast + Epp, one of the world's premiere fabricators of timber structures. Duane Palibroda of Fast + Epp today (Feb. 1) will present a public illustrated lecture, "Hybrid Structures," at 5:30 p.m. in 201 Crosby Hall on UB's South Campus as part of the UB's School of Architecture and Planning lecture series.

The Oval, which sits on the banks of Vancouver's Fraser River, will provide the long-track speed skating venue for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. The building is vast and it is distinguished in particular by its elegant internal spaces that feature wood trusses and innovative ceiling panels.

Brian Carter, dean of the UB School, calls the Oval "a remarkable building that advances new ideas of design and construction that are an inspiration for students and professionals alike. In its exceptional degree of public accessibility, integration of systems and environmental sustainability, the Oval also reflects the distinctive research, design and educational interests of our school."

The model of the building, built by UB architecture students Joseph D'Angelo and Christopher Carlson, was developed as part of a graduate course last fall that studied the use of materials and the unique methods of construction that had been advanced by this design.

"The design is truly innovative," says Carter, "in that it explores the potential of wood which is the ultimate sustainable building material. It also integrates the many different elements of the building into elegant, column-free spaces that are unencumbered by building services."

After the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Oval will be converted to a multi-use sport facility that will include two Olympic-sized ice rinks, up to eight hardwood ball-sport courts, a gymnasium, a 200-meter track, a rubberized turf area and a high performance center for elite athletes.

The Oval has also been planned to be the centerpiece a new urban waterfront neighborhood that will feature a mix of residential and commercial developments.

A distinctive feature of the Oval is its unique "wood wave" roof, which represents one of the longest clear spans in North America. It employs 1 million board feet of wood linked together in undulating sections to create a beautifully rippled effect.

Carter points out that the much of the wood used in the building came from British Columbian forests that were affected by the pine beetle, a material that could easily have been discarded. Here, he says, it is thoughtfully integrated with other materials and evokes an exceptional warmth.

"The Richmond Oval is arguably the most significant building of the 2010 Winter Olympics," he says, "and it is an honor for UB and our school to help to create this new and comprehensive exhibition."

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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