On 25th September the Diamond Arena by Atelier 11 was officially declared open in Beijing. The dedicated China National Tennis Center is a 15,000-capacity stadium which is currently hosting the China Open 2011, starring world class players Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Jurgen Melzer and Andy Roddick.
The Diamond Arena is so-called because of its exterior shape and status in the Chinese sporting industry, with sixteen sets of V-shaped columns acting as structural supports for the grandstand and an impressive visual display from an external perspective. Atelier 11 has deliberately removed any unnecessary elaborate adornments, instead opting for this simple but effective repetitive geometric pattern.
In order to respond to varying weather conditions the steel roof system is collapsible, with the ability to peel back to expose a 60m x 70m opening thorough which natural sunlight and heat can penetrate to reduce the building’s energy costs. The Diamond Arena’s roof has the largest opening scale in Asia and takes 12 minutes to fully extend; divided into two layers and four units, the roof can be opened in the direction of east and west and then be stacked in the storage space built under the fixed part of the roof on both ends.
Seating for the 15,000 audience members is arranged in linear rows around the central court, with an observation deck on the seventh floor allowing visitors to enjoy 360° views across the neighbouring Olympic Park. Two glass boxes will provide VIP seating during the competitive matches.