Originally designed by ROSSETTI in 1997, Arthur Ashe Stadium is the main stadium of the United States Tennis Association’s Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City and the largest tennis-specific venue in the world. The $254 million open-air stadium features 23,771 seats, 90 luxury suites, five restaurants, and a two-level players' lounge. Every year, during the US Open, the National Tennis Center hosts over 750,000 people, including fans, sponsors and athletes for the largest tennis event in the world.
In 2010, following five consecutive years of delayed matches due to rain, the USTA initiated a master planning process to find a solution and to strategize enhancements for National Tennis Center’s 46-acre campus. For Arthur Ashe Stadium, the primary challenge was to design a retractable roof for a venue that was not structurally designed to carry any additional load. Poor soils from the site’s history as the dump for New York City’s coal ash made the project more complex. For years, designing a roof within the USTA’s criteria was considered impossible. Upon soliciting proposal from multiple firms, ROSSETTI was the only firm capable of meeting the USTA’s four critical objectives of i) structural integrity, ii) financial viability, iii) operability during events, and iv) architectural integration with the original stadium.
Completed for the 2016 US Open, Arthur Ashe Stadium’s innovative $150 million retractable roof is the largest of any tennis stadium in the world. The lightweight, octagonal roof measures 236,600 square feet in plan and is supported by eight steel columns located around the stadium’s perimeter. The roof opening is 250 x 250' wide and is covered by two Teflon-coated, fiberglass membrane or PTFE fabric panels that open and close within 7 minutes, allowing Arthur Ashe Stadium to still feel like an outdoor tennis stadium and operate on-demand.
Credits: - ROSSETTI - Chief Architect of Serious Fun - Matt Rossetti - ROSSETTI - Project Manager - David Richards - ROSSETTI - Design Lead - Jon Disbrow