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Serving up structural and façade engineering services for Wimbledon’s Court No. 1

Thornton Tomasetti’s London office is responsible for ‘serving up’ structural and façade engineering services for the design of a new No. 1 Court development at The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) in Wimbledon, London.

The redevelopment of No. 1 Court is part of the larger Wimbledon Master Plan project that began in July 2013, with an anticipated conclusion date in 2019. The primary objective is to create a world-class sporting venue with national and international significance, status and reputation.

With close to 30 million viewers watching The Championships each year, the new static and retractable roof on No. 1 Court will allow for uninterrupted play on two show courts. The Court will also feature improved public facilities, 15 new hospitality suites on a remodelled level, catering facilities, commentary boxes and refreshed seating. It will have an overall capacity of more than 12,000 seats.

Tanya de Hoog, Principal, UK Director, Thornton Tomasetti, said:

We feel very privileged to be part of this project. The quantity and quality of design that has gone into this building from the whole design team is remarkable. From a structural perspective, the integration of new components stitched into an existing building adds another layer of complexity.

Thornton Tomasetti designed the new static roof structure that will support the moving roof and accommodate the roof plant equipment, and also designed the roof trusses of the moving roof. The new moving roof will feature long span triangular trusses that clear span 75-metres across the width of the bowl, and will be supported by the static roof. A tensioned fabric will span between the main trusses.

The cladding design features a combination of new vertical façade zones for the hospitality extension works, debentures and cores, as well as feature cladding for the roof and bowl areas to complement the geometrical aspects of the sports arena.

Innovative use of technological tools allowed the team to deliver a fully coordinated complex design fitting for this world-class venue. Thornton Tomasetti was able to efficiently develop the design within the many spatial constraints shaping the building envelope. The design and planned construction of the final building form would not have been realised in the same way without the use of such tools.

Image courtesy: AELTC / KSS

Project details

KSS’ appointment by The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) covers a full range of architectural and design services for the redevelopment of No.1 Court at Wimbledon.

The scope of work includes new hospitality and support facilities together with a fixed and retractable roof covering both the playing arena and spectator seating, giving the potential for uninterrupted Championship tournament play.

The contemporary façade properly respects the venue’s unique heritage, and the new facilities will further enhance the quality of the spectator experience, thereby supporting AELTC’s aim of maintaining Wimbledon’s status as the premier Grand Slam event in world tennis.

You can read about the Wimbledon Master Plan and further sports venue projects online at:

As a longstanding series advertiser, you can read about KSS’ work with Brighton & Hove Albion FC in our latest Q2 issue, available online at:

Project team

Architects: KSS

Client: AELTC

Mechanical Engineers: M-E Engineers

Structural Engineers & Façade Engineering: Thornton Tomasetti

The Wimbledon Master Plan

The Wimbledon Master Plan sets out the All England Lawn Tennis Club’s vision for the future of the grounds and is a framework against which new development will be assessed and refined.

The key objectives are to:

  • Maintain The Championships as the premier tennis tournament in the world and on grass
  • Strengthen and enhance Wimbledon as a world-class sporting venue of national and international significance.
  • Conserve Wimbledon’s unique and special heritage
  • Guided by ‘Tennis in an English Garden’, develop the finest setting and facilities for the entertainment and enjoyment of all visitors
  • Ensure that all new building is world-class-quality in keeping with Wimbledon’s international status and reputation
  • Continue to make a positive contribution to the local neighbourhood and community
  • Resolve key operational issues to ensure the smooth running of The Championships for now and in the future
  • Reduce carbon emissions from the grounds
  • Develop effective transport solutions, which reflect the priorities of the Club, its neighbours and those visiting during The Championships
  • Establish a long-term framework to ensure that future development is carried out in a coordinated, sustainable and resilient manner

The remodelling of No.1 Court will provide the opportunity to achieve further improvements to the visitor experience through:

• New wider, more comfortable seating throughout the Court
• Two additional tiers of approximately 900 seats
• The creation of a new two-level public plaza in place of Court 19
• Improved on-site concessions and catering areas around the Court
• Hospitality facilities to replace some of the temporary facilities currently in use at the south of the Grounds