After conducting a competitive bidding process earlier this year, City of Vancouver staff selected Vancouver-based firm Revery Architecture to design the new PNE Amphitheatre.
Vancouver City Council is expected to give final approval this week for the contract, worth $3.95 million.
The firm’s four-year consultancy contract will also cover planning, functional programming, engagement, construction contract administration and post-construction services to provide National Expo of the Pacific its first new purpose-built major entertainment venue in decades.
City Council approved the amphitheater project in June 2021, with an expected total project cost of approximately $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.
The covered outdoor venue will have a capacity of approximately 9,300 spectators, with a mix of bleachers, ground seating and VIP areas. The site configuration will also be scalable for smaller events, in the capacity range of 2,000 to 4,000 people.
The investment also provides new permanent spectator amenities – restrooms, food and beverage areas, bar service, flex space and other amenities – as well as comprehensive permanent infrastructure at the rear and front of the home. New permanent buildings replacing the temporary trailers will provide storage space, changing rooms, ticket offices, production and security offices, catering and prep kitchens.
The new venue will be built on the site of the existing uncovered amphitheater built in the 1960s, which is in very poor condition and was originally intended to be a temporary facility.
With the new facilities covered by a roof, the amphitheater will have a longer operating season and will attract many more events. The number of events and concerts held outside the annual PNE fair period will increase from five to 49 per year, and the number of community events for non-profit event organizers will also increase from zero to 22. per year.
Plans for a new amphitheater have been in the works for more than a decade. Its construction cost will be covered by the rental income of the event.
The city government generated a lot of interest in its procurement process to find a prime design and construction management consultant. Other bidders included 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.
Notable recent design work by Revery Architecture includes Squamish First Nation’s Senakw and Westbank’s Butterfly Tower, as well as the Xiqu Center theater on Hong Kong’s Kowloon waterfront.