PCL’s Most Magnificent Convention Centers

Whether you’re a trade show junkie, a comic book fanatic, or a jet-setting executive, you’ve most certainly found yourself in a convention center at some point in your life. With convention and conference centers ranging from $1 million interior upgrades to $600 million new convention centers, PCL has improved these gathering places in more than 20 of North America’s major metropolitan areas. We understand that these facilities are places for people to gather and share common interests under one beautifully designed roof and consider the latest trends and innovations in column layouts, floor box locations, ceiling height, loading docks, vertical circulation, meeting room configuration, and more. Here are some that stand out:

The Ottawa Convention Center was awarded the
2012 Award of Excellence from the Canadian
Design-Build Institute.

The Orange County Convention Center has an
economic impact of more than $2 billion a year.

The International Association of Exhibition
Management voted this PCL project the world’s most
beautiful convention center.

The Vancouver Convention Centre is the first double
LEED Platinum convention center in the world.

In Los Angeles’ busy downtown hub the Hotel
Conference Center at LA Live offers views of LA’s
world-famous landmarks.

The addition of the Hotel and Convention Center at
Mystic Lake Casino Hotel makes it the second-largest
hotel in the Twin Cities.

The Las Vegas Convention Center South Hall
expansion saw PCL add 1.3 million square feet to the
nearly 70-acre convention center along the
world-famous Las Vegas Strip.​

1​. Ottawa Conven​tion Centre

The award-winning Ottawa Convention Centre Redevelopment is located in the heart of Canada’s capital. The 365,000-square-foot facility provides incredible views of the Parliament Building and Rideau Canal for convention and meeting attendees. Sustainable components of this LEED Gold facility include renewable energy efficiencies, material/resource conservation, superior site planning, and indoor air quality. One of the major recycling initiatives was to use the old Congress Centre steel trusses: the PCL team disassembled, inspected, refabricated, and reinstalled these trusses in the new building, for a savings of $960,000. The team also diverted 96.7% of landfill waste, exceeding LEED requirements.

PCL maintained the original design and construction schedule throughout wholesale changes to the functional program of the facility, enabling the client to book over 90 events before construction was completed.

2. Orange County Convention Center Expansion and Renovation

The world-class Orange County Convention Center is an award-winning facility in the heart of Orlando’s tourism district. Ranked as one of the nation's top convention facilities by Tradeshow Week, the center hosts tens of thousands of guests at some of the largest conventions in the United States. The expertly finished, modern space is filled with skylights and enticing courtyards; restaurants, meeting rooms, and technology abound.

With an economic impact of over $2 billion each year, the facility benefits more than 1,000 local businesses and employs 25,000 in Central Florida. PCL rejuvenated the building and expanded exhibition, meeting room, and public spaces, bringing the total to seven million square feet and making OCCC the second-largest convention center in the United States.

3. Hawaii Convention Center

The spirit of aloha lives within the Hawaii Convention Center, which blends state-of-the-art design with an authentic island experience. Tranquil courtyards, waterfalls, and fishponds dot the luminous facility, while a double-pitched Hawaiian roof, soaring canopies, and open-air terraces and lanais allow the Hawaiian sun to shine through. A popular 2.5-acre rooftop terrace tops off the experience.

At the time of construction, the convention center was the largest single construction contract undertaken by the state of Hawaii. The 1.1-million-square-foot facility features an open-air design that includes meeting spaces to accommodate events of more than 13,000 people. PCL is proud to have design-built this tropical island gem, which has received numerous awards and was voted the most beautiful convention center in the world by the International Association of Exhibition and Events.

4. Vancouver Convention Centre

Set against a stunning mou​ntain backdrop and extending into the glistening sea, the Vancouver Convention Centre is a record-setting project. British Columbia’s premier convention center hosts more than 550 events each year (and was the host space for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games), welcoming thousands of guests to one of the most breathtaking settings in the world—the Pacific Ocean and the iconic Coast Mountains.

The project achieved LEED Platinum certification for the sustainable construction techniques incorporated into the build, surpassing original expectations for LEED Gold. Two-thirds of the structure extends over the ocean, so PCL showcased environmental stewardship by focusing on the preservation of local marine habitats during construction. The center also boasts one of the largest green roofs in the world: six acres featuring more than 400,000 indigenous plants and grasses.

5. Hotel Conference Center at LA LIVE

The Hotel Conference Center at LA LIVE is located in downtown Los Angeles’ landmark sports and entertainment district. The four-level building is situated at the heart of the action, steps away from the Staples Center, Grammy Museum, Regal Cinemas, and world-class celebrity-chef restaurants and nightclubs. With ample meeting rooms, exhibit space, and three ballrooms each seating up to 1,700 guests for dinner, this LA conference center is a red-carpet-worthy destination.

Offering stunning views of LA’s world-famous landmarks, the 232,370-square-foot building was constructed atop an existing parking structure in the busy downtown hub—a welcome challenge for the team, who worked with the client to find innovative solutions during the construction of what Los Angeles Downtown News listed as one of the 10 Most Important Projects of the Last 10 Years.

6. Mystic Lake Hotel and Convention Center

The only full-service resort in the Twin Cities, Mystic Lake Casino Hotel is taking event and hospitality up a notch in Minnesota. With a stunning floor-to-ceiling glass entrance, the new nine-story, 180-room, 280,000-square-foot facility welcomes guests with a spectacular view of the Meadows at Mystic Lake golf course. The convention center features 70,000 square feet of meeting space with three large ballrooms that can be divided into smaller areas.  

PCL’s addition of the convention center makes Mystic Lake the second-largest hotel in the Twin Cities. Groups of any size can stay in the 766 hotel rooms, play at the high-end Mystic Lake Casino, and enjoy one of Minnesota’s most popular entertainment venues, Mystic Lake Entertainment Center. For the business-minded, organic design elements in an executive conference room on the third level create a relaxing and unique environment, as do sweeping views of the golf course.

7. Las Vegas Convention Center South Hall Expansion

The 1.3 million-square-foot Las Vegas Convention Center South Hall expansion sits on nearly 70 acres along the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The striking two-level expansion connects an additional 1.3 million square feet to the existing convention center space by four bridges over the infamous Desert Inn Road. With an exhibit hall space designed for strength and functionality, semi-trucks are able to drive right into the building for unloading and loading, making the Las Vegas Convention Center the perfect home for the Motor Trend International Auto Show, the Consumer Electronics Show, World of Concrete, and more.

For more information about PCL’s convention center experience, contact us.

Dale Koger
Vice President and General Manager

Gary Birdsall
Vice President