Thursday, February 19, 2009
2010 Olympic Curling Venue Ready for Business
Congratulations to my brother-in-law Darryl Condon, a principal in the architectural firm, Hughes Condon Marler, whose latest building project is the Vancouver Olympic Centre/Vancouver Paralympic Centre. The facility hosted its grand opening this evening in Vancouver.
I'm in Vancouver to attend Northern Voice 2009, so Heather (who is hosting a midwifery workshop at UBC this weekend) and I were able to go and visit the facility this evening, along with what appeared to be thousands of other folks. It will be the curling venue during the 2010 Olympics but more importantly, it's going to be a tremendous addition to the local sports scene for years to come.
If you only listened to the news these days, you'd think that everyone in Vancouver was angry and upset about the Olympics. But judging from the huge public turnouts at these venues when they are officially unveiled, I'd say that the Olympic spirit if alive and well with the populace.
The Olympic Centre is an impressive structure, incorporating a hockey rink, a curling venue, a huge aquatic centre and plenty of other interesting places. Remarkably, despite its size, it fits into the other facilities in the area really well, which, as Darryl told me, was exactly what it was designed to do (obviously!) Darryl's firm has designed some impressive facilities over the years (The Whistler Library is one of my favourites) but the scale of this facility is unlike anything I've seen before. It feels huge and intimate at the same time. I'm looking forward to seeing it when it's completely finished, especially the aquatic area, which is still under construction.
I can't find any recent pics of the event tonight, but the Vancouver Parks Board website has a good information page about the facility, including some videos and maps and a good write-up about the details of the facility.
But you know what? I'm admittedly biased, but I'm frustrated that I couldn't find a mention of Darryl's firm anywhere in the facility itself tonight. Even the architect's model on display didn't have the firm's name on it, and I know they were the ones that built it.
It's a funny thing about these public spaces. We admire the structures and marvel at the details but we seem more interested in noting the names of the politicians who approved the place, instead of the men and women who designed and built it.
That's frustrating for me. And it's got to be even more so for Darryl and his colleagues.
Congratulations Darryl. It's a beautiful building and a true legacy for the city.