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SCX to build Wimbledon No. 1 Court roof

Sheffield-based engineering company SCX has landed the contract to build the retractable roof on No. 1 Court at The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), Wimbledon.

AELTC is redeveloping No. 1 Court to increase seating capacity and make sure play can continue in all weathers.

SCX managing director Simon Eastwood said:

We are very proud to have built the original retractable roof on Centre Court, so to be chosen by the AELTC to work on Number 1 Court is a real honour. SCX is now one of the leading builders of kinetic architecture in the UK and this contract has taken our order book to record levels.

The roof, which is based on a concertina design with two main sections that meet in the middle, will be made of transparent Gore Tenara (a type of Gore-Tex fabric), which is stretched between the steel trusses.

Covering an area of around 5,500m2, the roof is also made up of 11 trusses and weighs around 1,100 tonnes. It can be deployed or retracted in around eight minutes.

Some 220 electro-mechanical devices (including motors) along with a control system will be used to ensure the roof operates correctly.

The roof is divided into two sections with a total of 10 bays. Each of the bays is clamped on either side by prismatic steel trusses. The ends of each truss are supported on a wheeled bogie that moves along rails that are fixed to the new superstructure of No.1 Court.

SCX is designing and supplying all the mechanical and electrical equipment, and also for the construction of all the components that make up the moving sections of the roof. Much of the construction, assembly and testing work will be carried out at SCX’s new Tyler Street facility in Sheffield.

Andy Whitworth, SCX special projects director, commented:

SCX prides itself on its expertise in the field of precision engineering. We have an amazing team of designers, engineers and suppliers and everyone is excited about working on such a prestigious project.

Image courtesy of AELTC/KSS Design Group