THE PAPAL MASS - 1984
Abbotsford, BC
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Client
The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Vancouver

Completion
19
84

Construction cost
$
1.8 million

Attendance
250,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planning & designing the mass site for the 1984 visit of Pope John Paul II to Vancouver was one of the most prestigious and unique projects ever undertaken by Daniel Kim & Robert Hall.

Commissioned by the Archdiocese of Vancouver, the design called for an area able to hold 500,000 attendees. Originally planned to be held at Empire Stadium, early studies showed the site to be too small. It was decided then to hold the mass at Abbotsford International Airport; a location suitably
large enough to contain the sprawling expanses required for a special event of this magnitude.

Unlike ordinary projects, planning for the mass site required consultation and communication with many different levels of committees & church authorities. As well, interests of government authorities, the RCMP and media organizations had to be coordinated.

Vancouver Sun,
(Friday,
August 17, 1984)

When the city is built, a 12 metre wide shiny blue vinyl-covered cross will reach more than 30 metres into the sky.

Even though the $1.8 million project will be dismantled shortly after it has been finished, Daniel says it is the most exciting project he’s ever worked on.

“You can design buildings any old time. But this, I will never get the chance to do this again.”

It took Daniel more than eight months to complete the plans for the papal mass site.

“You must have toilets, a security fence, ropes for the
pope-mobile, parking enclosures, just everything.
It was a tremendous challenge.”