Wood, Steel and Ice tells the story of the Richmond Olympic Speed Skating Oval, the signature and largest facility built for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. This one-hour film documents the mammoth, five-year effort undertaken to design, fabricate and build what becomes the largest single span wood roof in the world. See how an innovative team of architects and engineers devise a unique made in B.C. solution in the one building that will define their careers.
The construction of the Richmond Speed Skating Oval spans a five-year human and technical odyssey that’s tested by huge financial, climatic, engineering and scheduling challenges. From inception, the project is the subject of intense media scrutiny over the choice of location on the sandy shores of the Fraser River in Richmond, BC. Wood, Steel and Ice documents the evolution of this unique structure – a fusion of wood, steel, and concrete – that showcases to the world how advanced uses of engineered wood products can push the envelope of commercial construction.
Our story follows the lifecycle of the Oval but focuses on its ‘one of a kind’ wood roof. From conception, we meet the architects, engineers, and builders behind the project to learn how this building has inspired them, tests their mettle, and hopefully defines their careers. Our camera is on hand at the very birth of the project, where a massive open field on the shores of the Fraser River will by 2010 contain a building capable of absorbing four football fields. From Olympic Organizers and Federal Politicians to the builders whose lives will be devoted to this building for the next three years, we observe the evolution, trials and tribulations along the way.
Wood, Steel and Ice is a story told by the people behind the project who grow and adapt to their individual roles as they work to raise the Oval. It’s a journey that becomes for most, the penultimate moment in their professional careers, when they look up and marvel at the completion of this iconic, architectural and engineering masterpiece.