Revery Architecture to design new PNE Amphitheatre

Apr 11 2022, 11:21 pm

After conducting a bidding process earlier this year, City of Vancouver staff have selected Vancouver-based firm Revery Architecture to design the new PNE Amphitheatre.

Vancouver City Council is expected to provide final approval this week for the contract, worth $3.95 million.

The firm’s consulting contract, spanning four years, will also cover planning, functional programming, engagement, construction contract administration, and post-construction services for providing the Pacific National Exhibition with its first new major, purpose-built entertainment venue in decades.

City council approved the amphitheatre project in June 2021, with an expected total project cost of about $70 million. Construction is expected to begin in late 2024 for an opening in the first half of 2026, just in time for that year’s summer outdoor event season and the PNE Fair.

pne amphitheatre

Previous preliminary conceptual artistic rendering of the potential “best scenario” concept for a new PNE Amphitheatre. Not the future final design by Revery Architecture. (PNE)

PNE Amphitheatre

Previous preliminary conceptual artistic rendering of the potential “best scenario” concept for a new PNE Amphitheatre. Not the future final design by Revery Architecture. (PNE)

The covered outdoor venue will have a capacity of about 9,300 spectators, with a mix of bleachers, floor seating, and VIP areas. The venue’s configuration will be scalable for smaller events as well, in the 2,000-to-4,000 person capacity range.

The investment also provides new permanent spectator amenities — washrooms, food and beverage concession areas, bar service, flex space, and other amenities — as well as complete permanent back-of-house and front-of-house infrastructure. New permanent buildings replacing temporary trailers will provide storage space, dressing rooms, box offices, production and security offices, catering, and prep-area kitchens.

The new venue will be built on the site of the existing 1960s-built uncovered amphitheatre, which is in very poor condition and was originally intended to be a temporary facility.

PNE Amphitheatre

Existing condition of the PNE Amphitheatre. (PNE)

PNE Amphitheatre

Existing condition of the PNE Amphitheatre. (PNE)

With the new facilities covered by a roof, the amphitheatre will have a longer operating season and attract significantly more events. The number of events and concerts held outside of the annual PNE Fair period will increase from five to 49 annually, and the number of community events for non-profit event organizers will also increase from zero to 22 annually.

Plans for a new amphitheatre have been in the works for over a decade. Its construction cost will be covered by event rental revenue.

The municipal government received significant interest in its procurement process to find a lead design and construction management consultant. Other bidders entailed Dialog, Diamond Schmitt Architects, Faulknerbrowns Architects, Formline Architecture and LMN Architects, Forrec Ltd. and SLA, Kasian Architecture, Patkau Architects, Proscenium Architecture, Public Design, and RIOS + Reimagine.

Some of Revery Architecture’s notable recent design works include Squamish First Nation’s Senakw and Westbank’s The Butterfly tower, and the Xiqu Centre theatre on the Kowloon waterfront of Hong Kong.

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