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Project Review: No. 1 Court Success

Following years of intricate design work and a highly complex three-year build, the No.1 Court roof was successfully deployed on several occasions at The Championships 2019, enabling matches to complete under the roof.

Completed on the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Centre Court roof, the No.1 Court project was finished on time and on budget, the design delivering a careful balanced combination of innovation with tradition while maintaining the unmistakable atmosphere at The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC).

Among the enhancements are a new fixed and retractable roof; an increased capacity of 12,345; the replacement of all seats inside the stadium for improved spectator comfort; 15 hospitality suites; a new external garden plaza and food court, the Walled Garden, and the installation of a living wall either side of the Big Screen facing Aorangi Terrace. The enhanced stadium was first tested in May at The No.1 Court Celebration in support of the Wimbledon Foundation, a special exhibition of tennis and music.

The No.1 Court roof has 11 steel movable trusses; each truss is 75 metres long and weighs 100 tonnes. Moving each of them onto the No.1 Court required a 600-tonne crawler crane, with 300 tonnes of counterweight. The roof takes between 8-10 minutes to fully retract or deploy and is 75m wide and 90m long when deployed. The retractable roof requires 164 drives and 44 motors to move it, including around 220 electro-mechanical devices along with a control system capable of working to accuracies within a millimetre to ensure the roof operates smoothly and quietly.

“The feedback we have had from players and members of the public about the refurbished No.1 Court has been extremely positive and we wish to extend our thanks to the AELTC Estate Development team, Sir Robert McAlpine, and the large team of consultants and sub-contractors who have helped us bring this challenging project to completion.”  – Richard Lewis, Chief Executive, AELTC

“It has been a true pleasure to work on such a grand stage as No.1 Court. The designers, our suppliers and the SRM team have worked tirelessly to ensure its success. There have been so many positive comments about the new court which is a testament to the efforts the whole team put in to delivering it for The Championships 2019.” – Gareth Healy, Project Manager at Sir Robert McAlpine

Taking inspiration from Wimbledon’s iconic theme of ‘tennis in an English garden’, the roof is surrounded by two beautiful living walls on either side of the Big Screen on The Hill. The total area of both living walls is 245m2 and 14,344 plants have been used in the design of the wall, which will remain in place year-round for visitors to the AELTC to enjoy.

“The delivery of No.1 Court for the AELTC is one of the most prestigious and iconic of British sports venues that KSS have been appointed on. The complexity of working on an un-compromised sports venue for three Championships prior to completion required a very proactive, highly informed and motivated consultant and contractor team. The importance of very detailed 3D modelling during the design and coordination process was fundamental to reducing risk and ensuring the contractor could meet both qualitative and programme requirements.” James Budd, Director, KSS.

Meet the KSS team at TheStadiumBusiness Design & Development Summit in November (25-27), register here!

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