A winning design by British architect scores points with players and engineers
A new demountable sports canopy at the National Tennis Centre, Roehampton, England is the first of its type in the UK and a world first in the sports sector. Designed by George Stowell Chartered Practice, in collaboration with Airlight SA, Arup, form-TL and Canobbio SPA, this sports canopy utilizes composite pneumatic fabric beams in conjunction with efficient internal steel stiffening and an exoskeleton of tensile fabric and compressive Y-struts.
The canopy spans 42m and provides an economical and acoustically practical high-performance training environment. The design garnered a Special Award from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), UK in early March, 2011. Significantly, the design creates a huge saving in running costs compared to existing pneumatic structures, using up to 90% less energy, and compared to large-span metal structures, uses up to 75% fewer materials.