Vancouver's Pacific National Exhibition Amphitheatre to feature a precedent-setting mass timber roof
Courtesy Pacific National Exhibition

Vancouver's Pacific National Exhibition Amphitheatre to feature a precedent-setting mass timber roof

4 Jun 2024  •  News  •  By Allie Shiell

Situated in Hastings Park, Vancouver, the Pacific National Exhibition (PNE) Amphitheatre by Revery Architecture  and engineers Fast + Epp envisions a covered, open-air theatre venue with a capacity of approximately 10,0000 beneath a precedent-setting starburst mass timber roof. Designed to span more than 340 feet (104 m), the roof will be one of the world's largest free-span timber roof structures upon completion.

photo_credit Courtesy Pacific National Exhibition
Courtesy Pacific National Exhibition

The structure includes 60 arches arranged in 6-barrel vaulted segments intersecting at diagonal planes, forming 80-foot-high (24-meter-high) arcs that frame views toward Vancouver's North Shore Mountains. At the same time, the footings touch down into the landscape at three points, resulting in an intimate atmosphere under the warm wood ceiling. 

photo_credit Courtesy Pacific National Exhibition
Courtesy Pacific National Exhibition

The PNE Amphitheatre is equipped with a flexible, state-of-the-art infrastructure. It features a permanent stage and a three-storey back-of-house building. The venue is also outfitted with custom house lighting, rigging, and sound equipment, all of which are designed to lower the cost of staging events. This affordability makes the venue accessible for a variety of uses, including those by community groups and non-profit organizations. 

photo_credit Courtesy Pacific National Exhibition
Courtesy Pacific National Exhibition

The flexible seating concept includes removable seating in the lower area to accommodate standing-room-only events. Fixed mid-tier seating is elevated to achieve optimal sightlines, ensuring each audience member has a clear view of the stage.  Additional lawn seating provides overflow capacity, allowing people to take in more informal viewing while enjoying the site's natural setting. 

photo_credit Courtesy Pacific National Exhibition
Courtesy Pacific National Exhibition

The Pacific National Exhibition welcomes 3+ million guests annually. It hosts the iconic PNE Fair and Playland amusement park, as well as various high-profile concerts, festivals, and community events. This world-class open-air venue will provide much-needed mixed-used space in support of these PNE programs.

"The PNE Amphitheatre is an important economic and cultural stimulus project that meets the identified critical void of a lack of performance space in Vancouver,"  says Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung (Chair, PNE-Hastings Park Board of Director).