Memorial Drive Sunken Show Court Canopy
Location: Adelaide, SA
Completion Date: December 2021
Size: 1400 sqm
Fabric: PTFE - Chukoh FGT800
Client: Tennis SA and Kennett Builders
Photography: © Tennis SA, Ben Macmahon
Creating a second covered show court for the Memorial Drive Tennis Centre in Adelaide, the 1400m2 Sunken Show Court Canopy is another stunning addition to the historic tennis club.
Fully covering the tennis court and step-down seating area in front of the Bill Cossey Pavilion, the Sunken Show Court structure is designed to match the large tensile membrane roof over the centre court. The 2nd canopy at Memorial Drive is a square canopy created with high-translucency PTFE membrane and supported by an elegant lightweight diagrid structure.
This project was part of Stage Two of the Memorial Drive Redevelopment project, a $44 million investment to rejuvenate the historic Memorial Drive sporting facility into a world-class venue capable of hosting international sporting and entertainment events.
Tennis South Australia approached us, in collaboration with a local Adelaide construction company, to design and install the tensile membrane roof for the new Sunken Show Court as part of the Stage Two redevelopment. The canopy needed to have a similar high-quality look and feel to match the facilities upgraded in the first phase of the redevelopment (completed in 2019).
We proposed a lightweight PTFE membrane roof to cover the Sunken Show Court and seating areas. The canopy extends over the viewing area in front of the Bill Cossey Pavilion, a multipurpose venue that overlooks the show court. The addition of the tensile membrane canopy would protect players and create a comfortable viewing experience for spectators.
The MakMax Australia team applied extensive industry experience and depth of knowledge to every stage of this project, from initial design and engineering to fabrication and final installation.
We based the sunken show court canopy design on a diagrid support shell rather than a truss design to provide the structure with a lower overall canopy profile. By reducing the amount of supporting steel sitting below the membrane, the canopy allows for a much higher space over the net (much needed for those back-court lob shots by the players). To support a wide-open canopy with only 4 corner supports, a triple-column pillar with 3-point diagonal struts evenly balance loading, while maintaining the elegant, lightweight look and feel of the structure.
Custom designed low-profile gutters were integrated into the outer facia, while syphonic sumps located in each corner are able to collect and channel a large amount of rainwater off the roof. This ensures the minimal gutter area can sustain volume of rainwater flow off the large surface of the roof.
Access to the top of the roof is made possible using an innovative access hatch. Located above the viewing area and accessible via an EWP, the custom roof portal frame is located in the PTFE membrane, and not attached to a support beam. The access hatch is so lightweight, it is entirely supported by the tensioned PTFE membrane.
One of the main challenges to overcome in the construction phase of the project was gaining site access. Built as part of Stage 2 of the Memorial Drive redevelopment, the Sunken Court site had significant constraints on all sides with Adelaide Oval to the east, practice cricket nets to the north, Centre Court and War Memorial Drive to the west, and the carpark to the south. It was important to protect the newly renovated court surface and minimise damage from heavy vehicles and cranes accessing the site. This called for a creative solution to cover the courts surface with rubber mats and plywood or steel plates to distribute the loads, creating an access way from the northern grass courts. This allowed us to bring in the lightest slew crane and EWP to install the structure and canopy.
See more construction photos here.
MakMax Australia designed, supplied and installed the 1400m2 PTFE membrane roof, including gutters and fascia, roof safety lines, access hatch, siphonic system and downpipes. The fabric panels were created using high translucency PTFE coated fibreglass (Chukoh Skytop FGT-800) and are supported by painted steel beams.
Chukoh Skytop FGT-800, is a dynamic tensile material unmatched for its flexibility, durability and aesthetics, making it the ideal fabric for Sunken Show Court roof. Chosen for its excellent UV protection, light translucency and low surface friction (self-cleaning) properties. Boasting a light transmittance upto 15%, FGT-800 PTFE is ideal for sporting facilities as it provides naturally diffused light with minimal shadows. The bright white canopy reflects much of the sun’s energy, which in turn helps to create a comfortable atmosphere underneath the canopy, keeping athletes and spectators cool in extreme heat and dry during inclement weather.
Built with incredibly tight deadlines in between border closures and COVID outbreaks, our project team, including our install partners Sky Skills Pty Ltd, managed to complete the sunken show court canopy by the deadline ready for 2022 Adelaide International Tournament in January.
The project was a successfully completed on time and under budget and the client, and by all accounts, Tennis SA think the new canopy is an ACE.