arrow left
arrow right

All England Lawn Tennis Club: Retractable Roofs at Wimbledon

The prestigious Championships at Wimbledon needed a way to avoid those frustrating words, “rain stops play”. ARX engineered two retractable concertina roofs so that the tennis can continue even if the weather doesn’t play fair. Our first roof, over Centre Court, saw match play for the first time in 2009. Our second roof, over No.1 Court, was revealed in 2019.

The Challenge

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) required a solution to avoid rain stopping play at its prestigious world-class tennis tournament, The Championships at Wimbledon.

Suspended play is frustrating for many reasons: the players and crowd are forced to wait and hope for play to resume; sponsors and television viewers lose the impact of a flowing game; and the tournament schedule can be affected.

Wimbledon,_Court_No_1_2009 Wimbledon,_Court_No_1_2019

The Solution

In 2006, a significant redevelopment of Centre Court presented the opportunity to tackle the ‘rain stops play’ problem. Then, 10 years on, the opportunity repeated itself with 2016’s redevelopment of the No.1 Court complex.

ARX engineered, built, tested and installed the retractable concertina roofs over both stadiums. The roofs provide rain cover when needed, whilst retaining the traditional open-air feel of Wimbledon’s grass court matches.

The design involved ten 100-tonne trusses which would span the 77m width of the court, supporting approximately 5200 m2 of roofing membrane, lighting and ventilation equipment.

Technical Details

We are delighted that the No.1 Court roof has been successfully used on several occasions, which has enabled us to complete matches that otherwise may have been suspended.

Richard Lewis
Chief Executive

Explore more kinetic projects from ARX