The latest of many improvements and developments for the All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon, is a project now approaching completion and comprising the amalgamation of the original Court 2 and 3 areas and the provision of new facilities within a new stand.
The project has been designed by architects Populous and has been built by Galliford Try, who have been carrying out projects at the venue for the last 25 years.
Located on the west side of the site, south of Centre Court and adjacent to the Millennium building, the new stand, which has a footprint of approximately 1060 sq m, includes seating for 2,000 spectators (both ticketed and free access). The stand is an open-air 6m high bowl structure, mostly constructed in fair faced concrete and shaped in a rectangle with 10 metre radius corners. Facilities include spectator terracing, including seating for disabled people, eight commentary boxes and ‘Hawk Eye’ observation points on the lines of the court. Beneath the stand are ancillary facilities including debentures, a lost property store, plant rooms and a players’ area.
The east side of the stand, which incorporates a series of columns spaced at approximately 3 m intervals, is cantilevered over a walkway which connects with the centre court and court number 2.
Populous, working with Galliford Try, have been involved in the redevelopment of a number of key areas at the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon.
The grandest part of the project has been the redevelopment of the famous Centre Court. The project involved the upgrade of the south-eastern, northern and eastern wings of the existing Centre Court and the provision of new accommodation comprising debentures, hospitality and dining facilities to take The Club into the 21st Century.
The most dramatic feature of the redesign is the retractable roof, the evolution of which was scientifically demanding: measuring 65 x 75 metres, the hydraulically operated structure is a ‘folding fabric concertina’, with steel trusses supporting a translucent fabric skin. The roof now allows the feature matches and finals to be played under cover during the inclement weather over the two weeks of The Championships.
A key consideration is the internal environment during those times when the roof is closed: both the players and spectators need to be comfortable. To that end, the design allows natural light to reach the grass, while airflow removes condensation from within the bowl.
With tickets ever more in demand, an extra six rows of seating on three sides of the upper tier increased the capacity from 13,800 to 15,000. New wider seats have been installed as well as new media facilities and commentary boxes.
Another element of the project, the new Court 2 which was completed in 2009 and seats 4,000 spectators, is sunk into the ground to reduce its visual impact. The basement area contains player’s facilities and areas for officials and ground staff. Adjacent to Court 2 are new turnstile and first aid facilities.
Mr Bill Augustin of Populous said: “Galliford Try have been carrying out projects at this venue for a long time. They provide the client with what is wanted, carry out projects on time and know the client very well. They are doing an excellent job.”
A J Tensile Fabrications Limited
A J Tensile Fabrications Limited were contracted to design, manufacture and install two new tensile fabric canopies as part of the work being carried out on Court No.1 – Debenture members areas.
The two almost identical canopy designs (on the south east and south west corners of Court No.1) consisted of a structural steel frame with a fabric membrane roof (manufactured from PTFE coated glass). From being given the final go-ahead the two canopies were designed and built in approximately 12 weeks then installed on site by four-five men over five weeks
Although A J Tensile had not worked with the client/main contractor before, Gary Patterson (Project Manager) of A J Tensile had previously worked with this client/main contractor (for a previous employer) 18 months earlier on another tensile fabric canopy project.
A J Tensile Fabrications Limited was founded in 2000. The company operates from two units totaling 12,000sq ft. and employing 14 staff. The company’s main area of activity is contract welding of PVC and PTFE fabrics.
Wilson & Wylie Contracts Limited
Wilson & Wylie Contracts Limited carried out porcelain floor tiling to the external Debenture terraces and Debenture WCs. This included laying a levelling compound to the power-floated concrete, a separating membrane, which also provided a waterproof layer underneath the tile installation, and finally 450x450mm non-slip tiles. The tiles were fixed in adhesive and incorporated intermediate and perimeter movement joints to conform to British Standards.