Wimbledon

Populous has 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. Populous have upgraded the south-eastern, northern and eastern wings of the existing Centre Court and provided 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. Its evolution has been 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.

Stage 3 of the redevelopment has involved the masterplanning of the southern courts area south of Centre Court. This includes the development of two new show courts as well as the realignment of seven existing courts and new ancillary buildings including maintenance, groundsman’s workshops/offices and Championship storage facilities.

New Court 2 (completed in 2009) seats 4,000 spectators and 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.

Wimbledon hosted the London 1908 Olympic Tennis competition – but missed out on being a venue in London 1948 as Tennis was not on the Olympic programme.