The new No 1 Court stadium and broadcast centre, the first and largest phase of the redevelopment and upgrading of the tennis facilities at Wimbledon, has several innovative engineering features using reinforced concrete. These include the exposed-concrete spectator bowl with its complex high- quality in-situ concrete raker beams supporting precast-concrete seating units, and the contiguous-piled basement retaining walls that enabled a deep and economical excavation. Also of interest are the two-lane road tunnel constructed using both cut-and-cover and top-down techniques, and the reinforced-concrete-framed, largely underground, broadcast centre.
Many of the behind-the-scenes facilities are accommodated in basement areas cut deep into the London Clay hillside. The required stiffness of the basement construction and the ability of the floor diaphragms to act as a restraint to the piled walls and transmit huge horizontal forces to the shear walls could only have been achieved with in-situ concrete.
The reinforced precast and in-situ concrete of the stadium bowl has been expressed dramatically, particularly at the four entrances. The reinforced- concrete framed accommodation 'trays' fit beneath the bowl but maintain a gap which allows daylight to penetrate to the lowest public circulation routes.
The reinforced-concrete raker beams provide high levels of acoustic and structural performance and proved an economic alternative to the more usual steelwork. The circular bowl geometry and the repetitive nature of the design meant that steel formwork and prefabricated reinforcement cages could be used. This gave excellent finished concrete with a fast turn-around.
The design of the precast seating units provided a watertight structure with an inbuilt seat fixing detail in the riser. An in-situ concrete ring beam completes the outer edge of the bowl and supports the steel grid- shell roof structure.
This development at Wimbledon represents the latest thinking in the design of facilities for a world-class sporting event.
OWNER Institute of Child Health
CONSULTING ENGINEER Price and Myers
M&E ENGINEER Troup Bywater and Anders
MAIN CONTRACTOR Shepherd Construction
FORMWORK AND IN SITU WORKS Buildstone
READY-MIXED CONCRETE Tarmac Topmix
CEMENT SUPPLY Castle Cement
WAFFLE/TROUGH MOULDS AND CIRCULAR COLUMN SHUTTERING Zeta-Form