Olympic Tennis Centre in Madrid
Parallel to its application to stage the Olympic Games in 2012, Madrid decided to build a tennis stadium to accommodate 20,000 spectators as an advance gesture. Although the city’s Olympic bid was not successful, the tennis centre, with a total of 30 courts, a swimming pool and a clubhouse, has its justification. It forms the venue for the annual Madrid Open tournament and houses the headquarters of the Spanish tennis federation. The stadium can also be used for other largescale events, such as concerts and congresses, boxing and ice-hockey matches. Located in the south of the city in an area of water close to the River Manzanares, the various zones are laid out like islands linked by footbridges. The complex is organized on two separate levels: one for players and one for the public. The actual stadium, which forms the heart of the development, houses the three main tennis courts – with space for 12,000, 5,000 and 3,000 spectators – and is enclosed within a filigree stainless-steel skin. The large spaces between the stands and the facade, which are used as circulation routes, contain the massive concrete structure and the sculptural forms of the steel staircase towers. Rising above the flat, cubic stadium are three huge roof elements that can be moved horizontally as well as tilted into different positions by hydraulic jacks to protect the three main courts from sun and rain.