img(height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2939831959404383&ev=PageView&noscript=1")

Somerset Road Covered Courts: All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon, Merton

Words:
Regional Awards Jury

Hopkins Architects balances functionality, sustainability and architectural excellence with its 2024 RIBA London Award winning covered courts complex at Wimbledon

Somerset Road Covered Courts All England Lawn Tennis Club. Janie Airey Airey Spaces
Somerset Road Covered Courts All England Lawn Tennis Club. Janie Airey Airey Spaces

2024 RIBA London Award

Somerset Road Covered Courts: All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon, Merton
Hopkins Architects for All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC)

Contract value: Confidential
GIA: 18,445m2

Somerset Road Covered Courts stand as a testament to the delicate balance between functionality, sustainability and architectural excellence within the Wimbledon Tennis Club campus. Part of a comprehensive masterplan for the All England Lawn Tennis Club, this indoor tennis facility is designed not only to harmonise with the prestigious outdoor courts, but also to significantly enhances the efficiency of the overall campus for the client. It embodies a dual purpose: serving as players’ and VIPs’ secure front door during the Wimbledon Championships, while seamlessly transitioning into a club facility with significantly reduced occupancy demands for the rest of the year. The indoor court area is particularly impressive, covered by a column-free timber roof with a graceful, undulating form. This roof’s curve, which reduces the volume without affecting functionality, is a nod to the design of 1980s tennis rackets and echoes the trajectory of a lob shot.

  • Somerset Road Covered Courts All England Lawn Tennis Club. Janie Airey Airey Spaces
    Somerset Road Covered Courts All England Lawn Tennis Club. Janie Airey Airey Spaces
  • Somerset Road Covered Courts All England Lawn Tennis Club. Janie Airey Airey Spaces
    Somerset Road Covered Courts All England Lawn Tennis Club. Janie Airey Airey Spaces
  • Somerset Road Covered Courts All England Lawn Tennis Club. Janie Airey Airey Spaces
    Somerset Road Covered Courts All England Lawn Tennis Club. Janie Airey Airey Spaces
  • Somerset Road Covered Courts All England Lawn Tennis Club. Janie Airey Airey Spaces
    Somerset Road Covered Courts All England Lawn Tennis Club. Janie Airey Airey Spaces
1234

The curve of the indoor court area’s roof enhances the aesthetic appeal within, while also reducing the overall massing where required to reinforce the facility’s connection to its natural setting and urban context when viewed externally. Structural elements positioned between each of the tennis courts serve multiple purposes. As well as supporting the separating curtains (carefully detailed to avoid sagging), they frame the diffuse glazing in the roof that allows the space to be filled with natural light without glare, minimising the need for artificial lighting. Automated openings at each end of the courts facilitate natural cross ventilation to reduce energy consumption.

On arrival, a clear diagram helps visitors orient themselves, with ancillary spaces neatly arranged alongside the covered court area. Complementing the timber roof, timber panelling is employed extensively throughout. Not only is it meticulously crafted, but it also serves to minimise embodied carbon. Moreover, the timber panels infuse the spaces with warm tones, creating an efficiently adaptable and welcoming atmosphere and enhancing the overall brightness of the environment.

  • Somerset Road Covered Courts All England Lawn Tennis Club. Janie Airey Airey Spaces
    Somerset Road Covered Courts All England Lawn Tennis Club. Janie Airey Airey Spaces
  • Somerset Road Covered Courts All England Lawn Tennis Club. Janie Airey Airey Spaces
    Somerset Road Covered Courts All England Lawn Tennis Club. Janie Airey Airey Spaces
  • Somerset Road Covered Courts All England Lawn Tennis Club. Janie Airey Airey Spaces
    Somerset Road Covered Courts All England Lawn Tennis Club. Janie Airey Airey Spaces
  • Somerset Road Covered Courts All England Lawn Tennis Club. Janie Airey Airey Spaces
    Somerset Road Covered Courts All England Lawn Tennis Club. Janie Airey Airey Spaces
  • Somerset Road Covered Courts All England Lawn Tennis Club. Janie Airey Airey Spaces
    Somerset Road Covered Courts All England Lawn Tennis Club. Janie Airey Airey Spaces
12345

As a facility tasked with meeting the dual demands of championship-level logistics and security with year-round club activities, the building serves as a model of responsible design and consideration of operational needs. Through its painstaking attention to detail, integrated landscaping, use of bio-based materials and passive-led strategies, it sets a great standard for sports facilities. The jury unanimously recognised the sheer professionalism required to deliver architecture of this quality in such a logistically demanding context.

See the rest of the RIBA London winners hereAnd all the RIBA Regional Awards here

To see the whole RIBA Awards process visit architecture.com

RIBA Regional Awards 2024 sponsored by EH Smith and Autodesk

Credits

Contractor Willmott Dixon
Structural engineer/BREEAM advisor Cundall
Environmental/M&E engineer ME Engineers
Cost consultant Turner & Townsend

Planning consultant Rolfe Judd

Landscape architect Applied Landscape Design
Principal designer CDM Services
Acoustic engineer Vanguardia

Credit: Hopkins Architects
Credit: Hopkins Architects
Credit: Hopkins Architects

Latest articles

Webinar: Architecture for Housing and Residential Development

  1. Products

Architecture for Housing and Residential Development webinar

Webinar: Addressing Onsite Safety using Fall Protection Systems

  1. Products

Webinar: Addressing Onsite Safety using Fall Protection Systems

PiP Design for Sustainability Webinar 2024

  1. Products

PiP Design for Sustainability Webinar 2024