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|Location:||Wimbledon, United Kingdom|
|Client:||All England Lawn Tennis Club|
|Awards:||SECBE Awards 2023, Highly Commended |
This new indoor tennis centre is part of a wider masterplan for the All England Lawn Tennis Club’s long-term development, contributing to a more coherent campus with better connectivity, security and parking amenity. Designing an indoor tennis venue compatible with the celebrated outdoor Wimbledon courts has been achieved by using several classic Hopkins architectural themes: a double curved roof form, generous daylighting combined with the use of natural materials, an expression of structure and simple but elegant detailing throughout.
Located opposite the Club’s main site, the building nestles into the contours of the landscaped site to lessen its impact on neighbouring properties, and adheres to the Club’s central ethos of ‘tennis in an English garden’. The project provides six new indoor courts, six new external clay courts, a Members' bar, and changing areas. Corridor and door widths are generous to enhance accessibility and all courts either have level access from the main entrance or are accessible by lift.
An undulating timber roof, inspired by the design of wooden rackets popular in the 70s and 80s, creates a sculptural external profile and soars above the playing area inside to create a grander playing experience. A double curvature achieves structural strength and elegance and allows for generous rooflights located between the pairs of primary beams.
The upper levels house the main Members’ bar and lounges and viewing galleries to the indoor courts. During The Championships, the upper floor of the building acts as the dispatch area for the courtesy car drivers, as well as providing space for the drivers to sit and relax whilst they wait. A new main entrance and arrival forecourt sits adjacent a covered drop off area beneath two raised clay courts. During Championship fortnight, this area becomes the main secure-drop off for players, from which they will be able to access a dedicated reception area and tunnel connecting to the main grounds. Beneath the courts, a basement car park will provide year-round parking for members, staff and contractors, including 16 Blue Badge parking spaces, charging for electric vehicles, and for the fleet of courtesy cars during The Championships.
The new courts will help ensure that Wimbledon remains the finest stage in world tennis, maximising the experience for members, visitors and players throughout the year, and providing an excellent additional amenity during the annual Championships.
Tim Henman, Former World No.4 and AELTC Board Member
Ian Hewitt, Chair, AELTC