In order to accommodate an extra 1,200 spectators in the east, north and west wings, the original roofing had to be renovated which provided an opportunity for a retractable roof to be added.
The innovative roof structure and air management system was designed in order to allow tennis matches to continue to be played under adverse summer weather conditions and just as crucially, keep spectators dry. Made from weathertight, waterproof and 100% recyclable material, the retractable roof was engineered to allow natural light into the Centre Court at appropriate levels and allow light to reach the grass so that matches can continue in most daylight conditions. However if there is insufficient lighting, the bespoke lighting system is able to provide compliant conditions for both the game and media coverage.
At 16 metres above the court surface the roof takes 10 minutes to be folded away and can be deployed in wind conditions of up to 43mph. Once closed, the air system has been designed to control and stabilise the environment in order to prevent condensation on the inside of the roof and sweating of the grass where the grass becomes slippery and unstable for players to use. By controlling the humidity, optimum playing conditions can be met.
For their work in the in the redevelopment of Centre Court, Capita was an award winning entry in the Structural Steel Design Awards (SSDA), which recognises excellence in the use of steel in structural and architectural design. Capita scored highly in efficiency, cost effectiveness, aesthetics, sustainability and innovation.