Today, the success of the Roland Garros tournament is unquestionable. In order to perpetuate this success and enable the tournament to retain its Grand Slam status, the stadium has to be extended. These renovations must live up to the new expectations of the players, the spectators, the partners and the media.
BETTER INTEGRATION INTO THE ENVIRONMENT
More greenery, more open spaces
The new lay-out, which is the work of famous landscape designer Michel Corajoud, will continue the French Tennis Federation’s move towards sustainability whilst opening up the new stadium to its surrounding environment. This is certainly an ambitious project, but reasonable and balanced, unlike many others of recent years which seem to think that bigger is automatically better, this one is reasonable and balanced and fulfils the needs of a city stadium.
The stadium modernisation will respect the FFT’s commitment to sustainable development. T: the historic triangle will comprise 1.4 hectares of greenery, including more than 100 new trees. A , and particular attention will be paid to eco-friendly practices (e.g. responsible water management and reductions in energy consumption and waste).
Another important aspect is that the site is located in an urban area and well connected to public transport links, thereby reducing the impact of vehicles in terms of tournament access.
The FFT has decided to obtain certification to strengthen its commitment to integrated sustainable development. It will therefore be carrying out a global re-design of the historic triangle based on the principles set out in BREEAM – the UK reference for evaluating the environmental performance of buildings which is the oldest in the world and the one most commonly in use.
The new stadium project is of interest to a wider public than merely fans of the tournament: . It concerns the inhabitants and users of the area and the general public where the facilities are located, but also the general public. Information and opinion exchange systems are therefore dedicated to them have therefore been set up and will be available throughout the current discussion period. These will then be adapted and remain in place during the building work.
MEETING MODERN DEMANDS
More needs taken into account
Making best use of space and updating the facilities are among the priorities in order to strengthen the tournament’s appeal. The stadium modernisation project will focus on quality over quantity, with a redesign on a human scale that will provide new infrastructure and reception areas for all people involved (spectators, players, partners and media).
The stadium must be more functional, more comfortable and better adapted to hosting the public, whilst not forgetting that it is in an urban environment. The FFT has therefore opted to implement two specific perimeters to take into account the requirements of a city stadium. In tournament configuration, for a fixed period of time, part of Avenue Gordon-Bennett will be occupied to ensure access between the historic triangle and the “Jardin des Serres”. This two-perimeter concept will make it easier to coordinate the movement of the spectators and also transform the Place des Mousquetaires into a vast esplanade spreading over a hectare which will be open to the public in its year-round (non-tournament) configuration. In the long term, the new stadium will feature 18 competition courts as opposed to the 20 it has at the moment, and be able to host an extra 2,500 spectators.
The new stadium should also improve the quality of services it provides to spectators. There will therefore be more restrooms, relaxation areas, information points and seated dining areas, and the signage for these facilities will be improved.
To secure its long-term status as a Grand Slam tournament, the stadium will replace some of its facilities with cutting-edge technology. The most high-profile innovation will be the installation of a retractable roof over centre court (Philippe-Chatrier) which can be opened or closed very quickly – in around a quarter of an hour. It will enable play to continue in the event of inclement weather and for night sessions, whilst also improving spectator comfort levels. On ground level of the same court, the project will also include the establishment of a new media centre equipped with the latest in technology.
More benefits for the economy and employment
According to a BIPE (French Economic Information and Forecast Office) study carried out in 2013, the French Open is of benefit to the economy of Paris and the surrounding area. The tournament directly involves a total of almost 4,700 people and generates €289 million of annual GDP. The work entailed by the modernisation of the stadium will involve €340 million in investments, which will primarily go into the French economy.
For more information, please consult the New Stadium website.
Architectes : Marc Mimram, Atelier d’architecture Chaix & Morel et associés, ACD Girardet et associés
Paysagistes : Equipe Corajoud. Perspectiviste : Cyrille Thomas, 3dfabrique.
©FFT / 2013.