Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Tennis Venue by BVN, Roof, Australia Sports Architecture

Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre

New Arena Building in NSW, Australia: Roof design by BVN Architecture

13 Jan 2016

Location: New South Wales, Australia

Design: BVN Architecture

Sydney’s premier international tennis tournament was once again impacted by heat and rain, continuing a summer tradition of play being affected by Sydney’s ever-more extreme summer weather. As drenching rain and over 35 degree temperatures beat down on the APIA Sydney international, players are forced from the court, leaving spectators waiting for play to resume. In 2012 the Men’s Doubles and Singles finals had to be played on the following day due to rain.

Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre, with new roof:
Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Tennis Venue

Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Tennis Venue

Faced with similar issues in Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane, the show goes on, with Perth Arena, Rod Laver Arena and Pat Rafter Arena are able to close the roof to allow play to continue no matter the weather, something sorely needed here in Sydney.

One of Australia’s finest ever tennis players couldn’t agree more.

“Extreme weather conditions are becoming more common” says Ken Rosewall, reflecting on a lifetime of playing and watching tennis. “With the season ever more crowded it’s getting harder to deal with lost days of play due to extreme weather as players schedules of tournaments get more and more crowded” The answer he says, is to roof the Apia International venue, the Tennis Centre at Sydney Olympic Park. “If Melbourne and Brisbane can do it, why can’t we?” Rosewall asks.

Architects of the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre, BVN have looked into fitting a roof to the tennis centre, adapting the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games tennis venue and bringing it up to the standard expected of international events.

Lawrence Nield, of the BVN/Studio Nield collaboration team noted, “The design was state-of-the-art when built in 1999, however the state-of-the-art has moved on in the last two decades and a roof is now seen as essential for major tournament venues, particularly those hit with heavy rain or extreme heat, both of which have been part of Sydney’s summers over the last decade”.

Lawrence Nield asserts that an upgrade to the existing Tennis Centre would be far more cost effective than building a new facility from scratch, saving the venue’s owner, the NSW Government, both time and money. Furthermore it would allow the Tennis Centre to also be used by netball, basketball leagues and staging ’spectaculars’ when tennis is not using the arena.

“Providing a roof on the existing Tennis Centre would be a faster, and cheaper option than building an expensive new facility from scratch, making the most of the NSW Government’s investment in the centre,” Nield says.

The Government is already committed to a major upgrade of Sydney’s big ticket stadiums, ANZ Stadium at Sydney Olympic Park, Moore Park’s Allianz Stadium and Pirtek Stadium out at Parramatta. In a climate where significant money is being invested in existing facilities, there’s little appetite for a new purpose-built tennis centre, leaving a much-needed update to the current Tennis Centre as one of the most cost-effective options available.

Rosewall agrees on the need for an updated facility. “International tennis events are a hot commodity, cities around the country and the world vie to host major events. If we can’t offer world-class facilities including weather-proof facilities, then someone like Brisbane or Melbourne who can might lure events like this one away from Sydney” Rosewall says.

Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre image / information received 120116

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Website: Sydney Olympic Park – Tennis World