The Canmore Nordic Centre is a vibrant, elite sport and community recreation facility built for the 1988 Winter Olympics. The Centre hosts a multitude of world-class events, including biathlon and cross-country skiing world cup events, and attracts local and international tourists, with an average of 890,000 yearly visitors. To sustain this reputation and continue hosting International Biathlon Union (IBU) World Cups, upgrades at the Canmore Nordic Centre were required, including a new biathlon building and stadium.
Scheduled for completion at the end of 2023, the redevelopment of this world-renown facility includes spectator and VIP facilities, race offices, media overlay, field-of-play requirements, crowd access and control, washroom and food services, and controlled access for athletes and media. When not used for sporting events, the Centre is designed to be a revenue-generating facility, hosting meetings, weddings, and other gatherings.
Above: Field of Play
The new biathlon building is two-storeys with a large rooftop patio that can accommodate up to 200 people. The first floor contains offices and meeting rooms that accommodate specific event activities, such as first-aid, anti-doping facilities, and race official spaces. The second floor contains a large multi-purpose hall that will serve as the event hosting space, complete with a commercial kitchen. Glazed walls maximize the views on three sides, and an exposed timber structure creates an attractive and mountain-oriented environment. On the viewing deck, event attendees can watch the biathlon events or take in the surrounding mountain views.
One of the primary design drivers our team analyzed was how to make the facility functional and revenue-generating when not being used for sporting events. During the schematic design phase, the design team test-fitted different spatial layouts to determine how best to accommodate different configurations and activities. Everything was considered – from the project siting and electrical infrastructure, to interior finishes and washroom fixture counts for different types of hosted events.
Above: April 2023
Logistics planning related to the site itself was critical, as the Nordic Centre needs to maintain operations during construction. Several unknown site services, including electrical and snow-making lines, were discovered during detailed site investigations. Understanding the existing conditions through this work ensured a robust construction plan that allows the Canmore Nordic Centre to remain fully operational and guests to enjoy the facility and its services to the fullest.