AECOM Hunt served as Design-Builder for the addition of an octagonal 236,000 square foot retractable roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York, part of the United States Tennis Association’s Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
The roof has a 250’ x 250’ retractable opening, the largest retractable roof in the tennis world. It uses 6,500 tons of steel and consists of PTFE fabric stretched over the structural steel frame. The structure is built completely independent of the existing stadium, but was designed to appear as part of the arena. It stands on eight independent columns – critical to ensuring that the columns did not require horizontal connections underground and thereby allowing the existing infrastructure to remain undisturbed.
Arthur Ashe Stadium remained operational over the two-plus years of construction, and hosted the U.S. Open in 2014 and 2015 with minimal impact to players and spectators.
In addition to the roof itself, the project included new HVAC systems to provide cooling, air movement, and humidity control, new sports lighting, a new audio system, new fire sprinkler system on the underside of the new roof, new storm drainage from the new roof, and overhead doors above the upper concourse to close off the bowl from the outside. In addition, AECOM Hunt also built a new 8,000-seat grandstand and redeveloped the National Tennis Center’s south campus by demolishing and rebuilding ten courts to facilitate a more open feeling.
Engineering News-Record (ENR) New York recognized this accomplishment by awarding AECOM Best Project 2017 in both the Sports/Entertainment category as well as in Excellence in Safety.