In Paris, Roland-Garros inaugurates a new tennis court with state-of-the-art architecture, surrounded by greenhouses containing plants from around the world. The Simonne Mathieu tennis court is part of a huge renovation project of the stadium, which is home to Paris’ tennis international championships every year.
At Roland-Garros, the dominant color is usually red—as in the clay courts, one of the particularities of Paris’ tennis tournament. Spectators always admire how the greatest champions slide over the ochre dust, leaving behind rust-colored traces when the yellow balls on the edge of the court’s back line.
A metal and glass structure in the heart of a botanical greenhouse.
But for once, with the opening of the new tennis court conceived by Marc Mimram Architecture & Associés, Roland-Garros emphasizes metal, glass—and green, like the vegetation and greenhouses surrounding the new tennis court of the Grand Slam tournament.
As part of its massive renovation, the stadium, which holds Paris’ tennis international championships every year between the end of May and the beginning of June, has been equipped with a brand-new court. Named Simonne Mathieu after a former tennis player, the 10-time singles or doubles winner of the Roland-Garros in the 1930s who also served in WWII in 1940. The name may be gloriously vintage, but the court displays all the attributes of the future in its materials, lines, equipment and environmental approach.
A green path beyond the tournament.
The new structure modernizes and extends the greenhouses of Auteuil built in the 19th century by Jean Camille Formigé, the architect of the promenades and plantations of Paris. Horticultural collections and botanical diversity will be accessible by a large number of visitors throughout the year, without limiting the access of tennis fans during the two-week tournament of Roland-Garros.
Semi-buried and set between four greenhouse,s containing plants from across the globe, the new court presents itself as a true, one-of-a-kind plant ecosystem. Five thousand spectators will be able to take a seat in this setting illustrating the union between sports and nature at Roland-Garros.
Top-level sports equipment related to nature.
"Outside the tournament period, the new tennis court will include the ability to stroll through the greenhouses," explains the Mimram Architecture & Associés agency. The new building allows "pedestrians to move through natural paths inside the greenhouses and observe recently built biotopes...bFor this occasion, a new concept has been defined: top-level sports equipment related to nature. "
It can also be described as a " unique project" that "belongs to the earth in that part of the court run aground at 4.5 meters (15 feet) deep," and "to the sky in the glass cover protecting the upper area". A green horizon in the middle of the city (Roland-Garros is located west of Paris, on the edge of Bois de Boulogne). Roland-Garros may be going green, but the clay is red as that of the tricolour.
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