The United States Tennis Association (USTA) and ROSSETTI, the architect of record for the Arthur Ashe Stadium, tapped Birdair to supply a 210,000-square-foot, PTFE membrane, retractable roof, which is expected to be installed by 2016.
PTFE, or polytetrafluoroethylene, is a Teflon®-coated woven fiberglass membrane that is extremely durable and weather resistant. The PTFE fiberglass membrane roof will provide fans with much-needed comfort and protection from the elements and allow daylight to reach the stadium’s tennis courts.
“PTFE is an excellence material for façades and roofing,” said Doug Radcliffe, project manager, Birdair North America. “For this particular job, this lightweight membrane provides a cost-effective solution because it requires less structural steel to support the structure. An added bonus is the long spans of column-free space that it offers spectators. In addition, the membrane typically offers building owners reduced construction and maintenance costs compared to traditional building materials.”
The new stadium was designed by ROSSETTI with general contractor Hunt, engineering firm, WSP, and mechanization engineering firm, Geiger. Hunt has contracted with Birdair for its design and installation expertise and its unique PTFE membrane roofing system. The lightweight PTFE roof will close from two sides, on glides, in five to seven minutes. It will cost more than $100 million, but that is half the price of previously considered plans.
Arthur Ashe Stadium, which opened in 1997, is part of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center located within Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in the New York City borough of Queens. The stadium features state-of-the-art broadcast and audio systems, 90 luxury suites, five restaurants (including media and player dining), a two-level players’ lounge, and individual seating for 22,547 fans.
The Ashe Stadium roof is part of a five-year transformation of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, home of the US Open. The transformation, set to be completed in 2018, will also include two new state-of-the-art stadiums and a series of enhancements to enrich the overall experience for fans and players alike.