Retractable roof on Suzanne Lenglen tennis court

Restricted competition: 1st prize Paris / France / 2020

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The roland garros tournament site is located in the heart of the ile-de-france metropolis, between dense city and nature, among the Bois de Boulogne, Paris and Boulogne-Billancourt. The new roofing on the Suzanne Lenglen court aims to fit into this context with precision. it is not only a question of building a retractable roof, but also of proposing a large-scale architectural ensemble whose silhouette interact with the existing building as well as with its surrounding environment.


to the north, the project opens up towards the peaks of the Bois de Boulogne, while to the south the relationship is more urban. the suzanne Lenglen court forms the main facade of the roland garros site, from the Boulevard d’Auteuil. finally, in the immediate
surrounding area of the normandy highway and ring road, the large roof is consistent with the scale of this important infrastructure node.


without being the center court of the french open site, the suzanne Lenglen court is an active venue during the grand chelem period. it is indeed located in the central walking axis. Each spectator is thus led to move towards its side facades.


the project thus represents an opportunity to improve the quality of the existing public spaces, in particular the forecourt to the south of the court. once the court is covered, the square forms a sheltered place ready to be activated and animated during sports events.


 


Covering


Rhe court suzanne lenglen


the project design consists of a set of technical solutions adapted to specific challenges. The main function of the roof is to shelter the suzanne Lenglen court and all public seating from the rain. it is also about protecting from the wind and controlling the shadows cast by the roof on the court so as not to disturb the players.


The proposed roof is overhanging the existing stands, with a sufficient overlap. It includes a mobile part, made of canvas, and a fixed part that provides support for the mobile roof and integrates all the necessary equipment for its folding and unfolding.


The project is intended to be pure and without artifice, resulting from the structural efforts implemented.


 


A floating roof


the structure is pure, minimal and fully apparent, and proceeds by a fine assembly of steel elements on a concrete structure. By creating a dialogue between a
new flat horizontal surface and the existing curves of the side stands, the project enhances the geometry of the suzanne Lenglen court. the new cover of the suzanne Lenglen court seems to levitate over the court. His relationship to the existing building helps preserve its architectural integrity.


The U-shape of the fixed part of the roof covers the stands on three sides (west, east and south) and completely opens the view to the north and the Bois de Boulogne when the movable roof is folded. the two east and west arms of the U, with a span of 87 meters, integrate the rails and locking mechanisms of the movable roof, while the south section forms a storage box for the folded roof and integrates the winch and the motor for the activation of the unfolding mechanism, thanks to a moving buton.


The constructive system of the steel structure is mainly based on the bolted assembly.
Laterally, a mesh fabric, fixed at the top to the longitudinal beams and at the bottom to the existing concrete stands, encloses the bleachers. Made of stainless steel, the mesh offers resilience and simplicity to the project. it emphasizes the curve of the stands and protects the highest bleachers from weather changes, while allowing light to pass through.


 


The pleating of the mobile roofing


in haute couture, pleating refers to the art of folding a piece of fabric. for a fashion piece, this technique offers with style and elegance a great liberty of movement. the mobile cover of the suzanne Lenglen court, thought as a pleated fabric, unfolds with delicacy and lightness in a solid frame. the relationship between the rigid steel structure and the flexibility of the mobile canvas helps to shape the identity of the project, combining mechanical precision and design finesse. the mobile roof, like a membrane, is made up of
a succession of 21 modules of stretched V-shaped canvas, continuously fixed between cables, for a total surface area of around 4800m2. each module is approximately 5 meters wide and 44 meters long. when the roof is deployed, the cables are tensioned to take up rain and wind loads. A mobile girder on the north side of the mobile roofing is provided for its drive during the unfolding and folding operation. the movement is done horizontaly, by deployment of the fold along rails, from south to north. As soon as the positioning of the cover is triggered, a show begins.


The proposed fabric is a PTFE fiber fabric, SEFAR® Architecture TENARA® 4T40HFT. It is a 100% fluoropolymer fabric with a high-tenacity PTFE yarn skeleton. costing more than a classic polyester/ PVc canvas, this material was nevertheless chosen for its particularly adapted technical qualities: high light transmission, low maintenance, robustness under repeated folding and unfolding movements, preservation of its mechanical qualities in cold weather, and a much longer life span than conventional fabrics. Associated with the chromatic palette of the suzanne 


Lenglen court, which mixes the red tones of the clay court, the shades of green of the displays and the clear variations of the raw concrete of the bleachers, the project aims for a soft neutrality through a metallic grey tint vibrating according to the light and the light changes.


suzanne Lenglen symbolized the freedom and elegance associated with athletic performance. this design study wished to retranscribe through an architecture, both precise and delicate, the temperament of this avant- garde woman who, almost a century ago, marked the tennis history. 


 


Design Team


The project is the result of a collective work, mobilizing many recognized expertises. To design the retractable roofing of the Suzanne Lenglen court, the team combined a builder, an architect and a engineering department, respectively the renaudat and tess companies, and architect Dominique Perrault, accompanied by co-contractors to cover the entire field of necessary skills.


renaudat ensures the realistic anchoring of the proposal, close to the construction site and the realization, while the combined expertise of Dominique Perrault and TESS will allow the optimal exploitation of the site’s possibilities.


from an organizational point of view, renaudat centre construction is the representative of the operation and ensures its management with the french tennis federation (fft) and the société de Livraison des ouvrages olympiques (solideo).


 


• Renaudat Centre Constructions is the mandatory of the team. Specialized in the construction of complex
works and structures, renaudat has participated, among others, in the construction of the Léo Lagrange sports complex in Toulon and the Zenith of Saint etienne. renaudat acts as a representative, steel carpenter and coordinator of the construction team.


• Dominique Perrault acts as an architect. he is the architect of the Velodrome and the olympic swimming Pool in Berlin, the olympic tennis stadium in Madrid and the grand Palais des sports in rouen. he works as an architect but also as a design coordinator, in order to propose a coherent and architecturally ambitious project.


• T/E/S/S it is a structural engineering office. TESS participated in the Louis Vuitton foundation and in the mobile sail of the seine musicale, and specializes in the creation of bold and realistic structures. tess brings to the group an expertise and a guarantee of quality in the technical aspects.


• Ramery Batiment is a civil engineering company and has carried out numerous construction and public works projects.


• ELEmEnTS ingénieries will leverage its expertise in environmental issues and building life cycle analysis.


• Calcul-meca, specialized in mechanisms, will ensure the proper functioning of the mobile cover, thanks to its experience in the calculations of the mobile sail of the cité Musicale or the conception of the mobile roof of the swimming pool of the Aqua’rel in Lons de saunier.


• Taiyo construction company specializing in membranes and canvases, taiyo has participated in the installation of the toyota stadium in toyota city and the Arthur Ashe stadium in flushing.


• Jean-Paul Lamoureux is a consulting engineer in acoustics. he collaborates with Dominique Perrault
and has a multitude of common references such as the Berlin olympic Velodrome and swimming Pool and the Madrid olympic tennis stadium.


• Louis Choulet enhances the skills of the group with its fluid engineering skills.


 


Restricted competition: 1st prize


• location : «French Open» site, Avenue Gordon Benette, 75016 Paris
• client : the french tennis federation (fft) + société de Livraison des ouvrages olympiques (solideo). • contractor: Renaudat Centre Constructions, steel construction, Chateauroux
• architect : Perrault Architecture (DPA/Paris)

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    The roland garros tournament site is located in the heart of the ile-de-france metropolis, between dense city and nature, among the Bois de Boulogne, Paris and Boulogne-Billancourt. The new roofing on the Suzanne Lenglen court aims to fit into this context with precision. it is not only a question of building a retractable roof, but also of proposing a large-scale architectural ensemble whose silhouette interact with the existing building as well as with its surrounding environment. to the...

    Project details
    • Year 2020
    • Status Current works
    • Type Sport halls / Sports Facilities
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