Populous’ design for the retractable roof on Wimbledon’s Centre Court has won ‘Innovation of the Year Award’ at the Stadium Business Awards 2010. In order to integrate the unique retractable roof into the traditional and much-loved Centre Court structure, two ends of the stadium were rebuilt, whilst the distinctive geometry and layout of the seats were preserved. The judging panel explained that the award had been granted for ‘overcoming the technical challenges and delivering the project in such a way that allows Centre Court to retain its historic atmosphere’. The moving cover includes new lighting and ventilation equipment and allows play to continue despite the ever unpredictable British weather.
Rod Sheard, Senior Principal of Populous, said: “The Centre Court at Wimbledon is synonymous with the game of tennis. Its green colour scheme and ivy-coloured walls are familiar to tennis fans around the world. In developing this design we wanted to help the AELTC develop its strongly defined identity and brand, based on the heritage and traditions of its grass tennis courts, but also maintain its position as the most significant tennis venue in the world by developing an innovative moving roof that guarantees continuity of play in all conditions.”