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News update

Modernisation of Roland Garros: second set under way

Modernisation of Roland Garros: second set under way

9 June 2017 - Projects update and handover - France

The Roland Garros tennis stadium complex in Paris is being extended and modernised under a programme managed by VINCI Construction France. The project’s phasing is highly unusual, with a pause each year for the French Open tennis tournament to be played. Work recently started on the second phase and redevelopment work will end in 2020 with the inauguration of the new Philippe Chatrier court, complete with retractable roof.

French Open, now set to remain on an equal footing with the other three grand slam tournaments

February 2017: The project cleared its final hurdle in February, with the courts rejecting the final appeal that had threatened its future. An excellent news for the general contractor responsible for delivering the project, a joint venture headed by VINCI Construction France.
A great relief to the client, the Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT), and to the the French Open, which is now set to remain on an equal footing with the other three grand slam tournaments in the tennis calendar: the Australian and US opens and Wimbledon.

The project’s outstanding feature by far: to rebuild and cover the Philippe Chatrier court

A key aim is to provide a smooth and enjoyable experience to the 45,000 spectators who visit the tournament daily, offering them services of higher quality. But the project’s outstanding feature by far, is to rebuild and fit with a retractable roof the Philippe Chatrier court – currently the only uncovered centre court in the grand slam series. Designed as “a large umbrella that unfolds over the court,” this retractable roof is composed of 11 outsize roof panels comprise a metal framework sheathed in a weatherproof technical fabric. Resembling aircraft wings in a nod to Roland Garros’s role as a pioneering aviator, the roof panels can be deployed in wind speeds of up to 60 km/h. It will take about 15 minutes to roll them out above the centre court.

A project carried out in four sets

Each year, up to 2020, teams leaded by VINCI Construction France have to clear the site completely, at the end of March: cranes removed, accommodation blocks emptied and excavations filled in, all traces of construction work have to be painstakingly removed so that the FFT can re-occupy the venue and prepare for the two-week tournament, held in the last week of May and the first week of June. Each year, at the end of June, once the tournament has been completed, teams return to the site and resume work where they had left off. Each year, project managers use the two-and-a-half month layoff to consult with the client and prepare for the next phase, with every task having to follow a tightly choreographed sequence.

The site’s key structures and installations

The Philippe Chatrier court will be enlarged and raised to accommodate a new retractable roof (1). Nearby, court number 1 will be demolished to enable Place des Mousquetaires (2) to be extended, incorporating almost 1 hectare of parkland. Court number 1 will be replaced by a new 5,000-capacity court integrated into the new Serres d’Auteuil garden plot. The Fonds des Princes area (3) will be redesigned; it will include seven courts, one with permanent seating for 2,200 spectators. A new building for the organisers will be built, surrounded by hospitality and reception areas overlooked by panoramic terraces (4). The entire development aims to achieve a “Very Good” BREEAM rating under the Tailored Criteria process.

Media contacts

Paul-Alexis Bouquet
Tel: +33 1 47 16 35 00