Winner 2016

Award for
Structural Engineering Excellence / Community or Residential Structures

Project Description

Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre was constructed to meet the needs of a diverse population in one of Canada’s fastest growing cities. The Centre has already surpassed anticipated visitor numbers. The roof is a unique and slender double, long-span timber catenary over the Olympic-sized pool, suspended between post-tensioned concrete buttresses. The engineers chose wood as a cost-effective, structurally-efficient and aesthetically-pleasing alternative to steel, cleverly balancing form and function.

Judge’s comments

The judges were struck by the undulating roof which elegantly balances structural form with building use and celebrates the expressed materials.  The adoption of timber in catenary permitted a structural depth of just 300mm for a 55m span.  It defies convention and demanded design excellence in the tuning of the geometry and development of bespoke details to ensure that this high quality of construction could be delivered economically for the public client.  

Project overview

Structural Designer

  • Fast + Epp

Client Name

  • The City of Surrey


  • Surrey, Canada


  • HCMA Architecture + Design

Principal Contractor

  • EllisDon

Year Submitted

  • 2016

Submitted By

  • Fast + Epp Images: Ema Peter; (1,2,3) Alison Faulkner; (4,5)