New World-Class Facilities
The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) is looking to expand and enhance the services they can offer on their existing community sports ground, to benefit The Championships and also support the expansion of programmes for the local community.
The AELTC has an increased requirement for practice courts for The Championships. Due in part to the extended period between Roland-Garros (The French Open) and The Championships, demand has increased for world class grass courts (and ancillary facilities), which can be used for practice by professional players in the run up to and during The Championships.
There are currently no practice courts that are suitable for wheelchair competitors, and facilities for the Ballboy and Ballgirl training are required. The provision of the new courts will also provide a venue for amateur tennis competitions and for the local community following the Championships.
Langstaff Day Architects are acting as masterplanners and architects for the project.
The project received planning permission in July 2018.
The proposals include:
- 16 NEW CHAMPIONSHIPS STANDARD GRASS COURTS
- 3 NEW ACRYLIC COURTS BENEATH AN AIRDOME
- A NEW CLUBHOUSE WITH VIEWING TERRACES AND INTEGRATED CANOPY
- ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE DRAINAGE AND RAINWATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (INCORPORATING SUDS TECHNOLOGIES)
- A MAINTENANCE BUILDING
- THE USE OF PLAYING FIELDS FOR WIDER COMMUNITY SPORTS USE
The design integrates existing facilities to the south of the site to form an expanded tennis centre.
The site will contain sixteen world class standard grass courts orientated from north to south in the same way as the courts on the main AELTC Championships site in order to facilitate high level practice prior to and during Championships.
The new grass courts are located to the north of the existing acrylic courts and will be supplemented with a new 3-court acrylic facility under a new airdome.
The new airdome will be used for Ballgirl and Ballboy training.
The site is arranged so that the grass courts can be segregated from the acrylic facilities during Championship practice use, but can be opened up and available to the community after the practice season has ended.
The clubhouse design will incorporate viewing terraces looking into the site over the courts and be focused in particular on a small show court with additional spectator seating.
The tennis courts are surrounded by a landscaped ‘haha’ with a balustrade, forming a natural secure boundary between the courts and the landscaped areas.
A new secure maintenance building and yard will be located to the south of the site.
Sustainable drainage systems inform the landscaping and drainage strategies with a variety of features used to ensure the site’s drainage is improved.
Landscape features include permeable paving, swales and a landscaped detention basin, which will be designed to improve the amenity and ecological value of the site.
The facilities will be designed to be fully accessible, and will cater for wheelchair tennis tournaments.
The site strategy of a tennis club within a park setting is inspired by features of the English garden in harmony with the Wimbledon Championship Site atmosphere and landscape.
Landscape is a fundamental part of the feel of the Wimbledon Championships site, and it is the same on this site.
The site has been conceived in three main zones:
- Civic Arrival Space
- Tennis in an English garden
- Wildflower meadow and community lawns
Features of the English garden that have been incorporated include:
- formal evergreen planting structure
- cultivated natural overgrowth
- seamless flower beds and rolling meadows
- formal routes with focal points
- vantage points for views
The existing setting, which is largely a ‘green desert’ will be transformed with enhanced green infrastructure, biodiversity and habitat potential. There is a great opportunity for nature and structured landscape to play its part in creating a truly sustainable site.