Colorbond Award for Use of Steel Commendation for Public Buildings

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The NSW Tennis Centre is the venue for the Olympic tennis and subsequently will be the headquarters of Tennis NSW. The major tennis championship in Sydney, the Adidas Open, will be held every January in the Centre. The centre has sixteen courts - ten match courts and six practice courts. The match courts include Centre Court and two show courts, Courts 1 and 2. The Centre Court holds 10,300 spectators and there will be 4,000 and 2,000 temporary seats in the No. 1 and No. 2 courts. The courts are hard, surfaced with Rebound Ace, an Australian cushioned acrylic surfacing. The Players’ Building includes change areas, venue management, tournament management, a tennis museum and locker rooms, as well as amenity areas and the head office for Tennis NSW. Located on the southern edge of the Homebush Olympic site, the overall site area is approximately five hectares. The Centre Court is in a significant position terminating the southern end of the Olympic Boulevard. Lindsay Davenport, the World’s No. 2 Woman Player, said at the conclusion of the Adidas Open, "it is one heck of a facility".

The circular (actually twenty-four sided) NSW Tennis Centre Centre Court elegantly closes the southern end of the Boulevard at Olympic Park, Homebush Bay, with an emphatic concrete bowl stadium form surmounted by a light steel roof supported on a spidery framework. Its generous, robust circular plan and expression accommodates 10,300 spectators with multiple mid-level entries around the building providing ease of access and egress with a minimum of congestion. The simplicity of the structure is admirable. Precast concrete seating rises out of the ground, supported by a relatively small number of steel beams, in turn propped by angled columns that become masts to suspend a simply segmented roof over the entire seating area. The roof and seating structures are tied together by three main ring beams that became unified when the main beams were de-stressed. The roof sheeting is Brownbuilt 305, curved and taped with a ceiling lining of perforated Custom Orb below the insulation. This stadium was originally briefed at 7,000 permanent and 3,000 temporary seats with no roof, but for relatively little extra cost the integration of roof and seating structures provided the 10,300 seats comfortably, economically and with a fine sense of planning, constructional and environmental fitness.
NSW Tennis Centre
Project Director Neil Hanson. Design Architect Lawrence Nield. Project Architect Andrew Cortese. Project Manager Graham Watt, NSW Department of Public Works and Services. Project Team Andrew Burges, Namaste Burrell, Graeme Butler, Kim Cameron, Catherine Chesterman, Hamilton Cue, Frank Ehrenberg, Bob Gardener, Mike Hale, Glenn Scott, John Whatmore. Structural Consultant, Civil Consultant, Electrical Consultant, Mechanical Consultant, Hydraulic Consultant, Lighting Consultant, Acoustic Consultant, Service Consultant Ove Arup & Partners. Landscape Architect Spackman & Mossop. Interior Designer Bligh Voller Nield. Environment Consultant Peter J. Ramsay & Associates. Quantity Surveyor W. T. Partnership. Programmer Construction Planning and CAD Services. Sports and Tennis Design Consultants Building Design Partnership, London. Specialist Tennis Consultant John Newcombe. Access Consultant Independent Living Centre. Fire and Safety Stephen Grubis & Associates. Builder Abigroup. Photography John Gollings.



Published online: 1 Nov 2000


Architecture Australia, November 2000

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