Vancouver International Airport (YVR) Pier D Expansion

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) Pier D Expansion


The Pier D expansion project at Vancouver International Airport is YVR’s largest terminal building expansion since the modernization of the airport in 1996 and is a true representation of the beauty of British Columbia.

The expanded Pier D offers an additional eight wide body gates that accommodate aircraft with wingspans as wide as 260 feet. To create a sense of place, travelers will have access to spaces of nature and relaxation within the terminal’s confines, including a feature atrium space whose roof is supported on ten, 50-foot tall tree structures comprised of glue laminated timber members framing between custom designed cast steel connections and CAST CONNEX Timber End Connectors™ (TECs).

Additionally, CAST CONNEX High Strength Connectors™ (HSCs) are employed on the ends of the round HSS braces used in the structure’s seismic force resisting system.

The custom designed castings include 1,100-pound tapering column bases and five-leafed, 500-pound column cap nodes into each of which frame five upper branch glulam members equipped with TECs at either end. All the castings used in the tree timber structures were produced in a cast stainless steel grade and were passivated and lacquered.

Owner: YVR Airport Authority

Architect: Kasian Architecture

Structural Engineer: Bush, Bohlman & Partners LLP 

General Contractor: PCL Construction

Steel Fabricator and Erector: Whitemud Ironworks Group 

Timber Supplier: FraserWood Industries

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) Pier D Expansion

Custom Casting Features

Tree Column

Each 50-ft tall structural tree includes three tiers of casting geometries.

At the base of the timber trunks, CAST CONNEX custom-designed cast stainless steel column bases elegantly disappear into the floor and bolt to the hidden steel beam below.

Eye level to the second-story walkway are sculpted CAST CONNEX custom-designed cast stainless steel column caps that artfully transition to each of the 5 branches.

Terminating each branch are cast stainless steel CAST CONNEX Timber End Connectors™ (TECs) that provide a purposeful connection adding warmth and balance to the structural trees.


Flowing, partially hanging walkways partition the travelers' experiences and offer thoughtful pathways for visitors traversing the new Pier D Expansion. These walkways are comprised of a series of steel beams that are supported by tension rods for both gravity and lateral loads. Compact custom-designed CAST CONNEX cast steel clevis-knuckles were designed to facilitate the pin joint between the tension rods and beam. The tectonic expression at the joint highlight the artful functionality castings can provide.

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Design-Built Structural Solution

CAST CONNEX offers design-build services for custom-cast steel nodes and components. We leverage steel casting manufacturing to offer our clients unparalleled opportunities for optimization and beauty in structural form.

Elevated design for projects of any budget

CAST CONNEX standardized connectors are available in a range of sizes to fit standard member profiles. These pre-engineered products are affordable enough to be used repetitively or as a one-off. Each connector is designed to simplify fabrication labor, especially in architecturally exposed applications.