News: London architecture firm Grimshaw has unveiled a masterplan for the home of the annual Wimbledon Championships tennis tournament.
Grimshaw's proposal for All England Lawn Tennis club includes building a new retractable roof on No.1 Court so play can continue in all weather conditions, and creating three new grass courts on the edge of the site to free up more space in the busy central and south areas.
"Our proposals strive to improve the quality of the experience for all, and provide innovative and high-quality solutions to meet the challenges posed by this beautiful but constrained site," says Grimshaw partner Kirsten Lees.
Landscaping of the public areas has been designed to reinforce the "spirit of tennis in an English garden", with improved approaches to the stadiums and vistas of the outside courts from new hospitality areas.
Landscape architecture firm Grant Associates has created a landscape framework for the plan, which will "include enhanced landscape walkways and promenades, the use of topiary, green walls and planted pergolas, creative paving, display areas, enhanced tree planting and themed garden spaces."
The plans will be used as a framework for redevelopment that will take place over the next 10-20 years and have been announced ahead of the start of the Wimbledon Championships on Monday.
Grimshaw was chosen to oversee the masterplan last year, following the completion of a previous development phase that included the construction of a roof on Centre Court by architects Populous.
Last year, Grimshaw's restoration of historic tea clipper the Cutty Sark in Greenwich, London, was hammered by critics and was named the ugliest building of the year. The firm recently submitted plans for a twisting 90-storey skyscraper in the Australian city of Sydney.
Here's a statement provided by Grimshaw:
Wimbledon and Grimshaw's new vision for championships
The All England Lawn Tennis Club has unveiled its design proposals for the Wimbledon Master Plan. Marking the first step in a consultation process, the plan sets out a vision for the future of the site and creates a framework which will guide the continuing development and enhancement of the Club over the next 10-20 years. Developed by Grimshaw, the vision reflects and reinforces the long history of The Championships while further enhancing Wimbledon's position as the premier Grand Slam tennis event.
Building on the Club's previous Long Term Plan, the proposed Master Plan is influenced by the much loved traditional qualities and character of the grounds. It will draw on these existing assets whilst simultaneously resolving some of the challenges that this beautiful but constrained site poses. The vision has been determined by a radical rethink and strategic re-configuration of the grounds to optimise the use of the site. Three new grass courts have been located to the north of No.1 Court to release space and ease congestion in the central area and the south.
No.1 Court will be remodelled to receive a new fixed and retractable roof, which will allow for uninterrupted play irrespective of the weather. It will also provide new hospitality areas, replacing the temporary facilities currently situated at the south of the Grounds, which will benefit from spectacular views over the outside courts.
A new landscape framework will enhance and define the public areas and reinforce the spirit of tennis in an English garden. Enhanced approaches to the grounds are created with improved setting of stadia, main buildings and entrance spaces. A series of distinctive character areas are defined which connect and choreograph the various spaces that enrich the visitors' experience.
Speaking about Grimshaw's aspirations for the site, Partner Kirsten Lees said: "Maintaining The Championships' status as the premier tennis tournament in the world underpins the Wimbledon Master Plan. Our proposals strive to improve the quality of the experience for all and provide innovative and high quality solutions to meet the challenges posed by this beautiful but constrained site."
Grimshaw's proposals will now be brought forward in a phased development by a process of detailed study, refinement and consultation. The publication of the Wimbledon Master Plan is the first exciting step in the consultation process with a wide range of stakeholders that will take place in the coming months.
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