Queenland's new home for tennis ensures year-round drama can commence
This purpose built Queensland Tennis Centre, on Brisbane’s Southside, will showcase both top class tennis tournaments and community tennis throughout the year. The centre is linked to a new luxury residential and parklands riverfront development, and will be the vehicle to provide a “nursery” for Queensland’s future world champions, as well as an international standard tennis facility.
The center features all three “Grand Slam” surfaces – grass, clay and cushioned acrylic hard court, as part of a 12 hectare residential, recreational and parklands hub, including 400m of north facing river frontage, with public access to the Brisbane riverfront. In total there are twenty two match and training courts.
Owned by the Queensland Government the facility is also the headquarters for Tennis Queensland’s administration and development programs. Queensland has a long history of tennis, producing world class tennis champions, including Rod Laver, and more recently, Pat Rafter, whose memory will be a permanent part of the Tennis Centre legacy after the 5,500-seat main arena was named in his honour.
The centre court will be permanently shaded and all 5,500 spectators to be sheltered from the heat and rain while still maintaining the atmosphere and tournament status of an outdoor event. The roof of the Pat Rafter Arena is designed to maintain outdoor atmosphere and tournament classification while providing permanent shade cover. The roof is designed to capture the theatre and intensity of the centre court match play, contain noise to ensure the stadium behaves as a good neighbour in a residential setting, exploit the Queensland climate, and yet remain cost effective.
The roof solution acts as both a parasol and an umbrella over the open stadium. The fixed roof is partially solid (metal sheet panels) and partially fabric ( PTFE fabric). Insulation within the metal sheet panels keeps the arena cooler and drier in summer, and cuts down the noise from the outside, particularly the heavy rain, while still retaining the intensity and theatre of the action inside.
Local infrastructure has been improved to include pedestrian access along the riverfront and connectivity to the existing Brisbane City Council bikeway network for cyclists, as well as improved local access to the Yeerongpilly Railway Station. Onsite parking has also been improved with construction of an internal road and parking onsite to minimise traffic on local streets. The first international tournament took place within the arena in January 2009.