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Louis Armstrong Stadium to debut at US Open

The world’s first naturally ventilated tennis stadium with a retractable roof will be in action for next week’s US Open.

The opening of Louis Armstrong Stadium is the final piece of the decade-long partnership between the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and ROSSETTI to re-imagine Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

The new 14,069-seat Louis Armstrong Stadium features an innovative design that encourages air flow through the stadium while keeping rain off the court, making it the first naturally ventilated tennis stadium with a retractable roof in the world.

The roof can be closed in under five minutes. Other features of the new arena include:

  • Two entranceways, each featuring a grand staircase, escalator and elevator, giving ticket holders access to both the lower and upper concourses
  • Storefronts featuring US Open Collection, Polo Ralph Lauren, Adidas and Wilson, anchoring the ground floor and accessible from outside the stadium;
  • Viewing areas on the lower concourse, giving patrons the ability to both enjoy the match inside, as well as take in the grounds;
  • A variety of food, beverage and merchandise concessions on both the lower and upper concourses.

The vision of the USTA is for the stadium to host tennis matches in an open, day-lit outdoor environment, as much as possible, and provide weather protection only when necessary.

In keeping with this vision, ROSSETTI designed Louis Armstrong Stadium with an operable roof as well as a naturally ventilated bowl.

The design offers a unique solution that is true to the outdoor nature of the tournament by allowing play to continue during rain.

On each side of the stadium, the facades are covered with 14,250 overlapping terracotta louvers, optimally positioned to keep rain out, yet porous to maintain natural ventilation. The louvers allow air flow through the upper part of the building on the north and south elevations while protecting the court from the rain and shading spectators from the sun.

The design of the stadium uses a perforated seating bowl that allows air to pass through underground air pathways and into the lowermost seating.

The concourse levels are designed to be open around the entire perimeter to allow for maximum airflow into the stadium from all sides and into the spectator areas.

Jon Disbrow, director of architecture and design lead on Louis Armstrong Stadium, said:

In addition to being functional, the terracotta louvers were selected because of their contextual connection with the masonry that was used on Arthur Ashe Stadium and the old Armstrong and Grandstand buildings.