Roland Garros Unveils Second Retractable Roof Ahead Of French Open And Olympics

Roland Garros Unveils Second Retractable Roof Ahead Of French Open And Olympics

Court Suzanne Lenglen has joined the retractable roof ranks in the world of major tennis stadiums. Joining the larger Court Philippe Chatrier at the Paris site, the addition of a retractable roof on Suzanne Lenglen marks the second retractable roof for Roland Garros, home of the French Open and tennis for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The “most visible new feature” of 2024, according to Amelie Mauresmo, tournament director, the new roof at the 10,000-seat stadium gives the tournament more certainty of matches happening even when the weather isn’t cooperating, both for French Open events this year and into the future and the Olympics this summer.

The new roof, designed by architect Dominique Perrault, can close in 15 minutes. Designed with wings 328 feet long and 65 feet wide, the tournament says the design combines a flat horizontal metallic surface with the curves of the lateral grandstands. Made of a lightweight canvas with a design “inspired by the pleated skirt created by Jean Patou for Suzanne Lenglen,” even the roof design is meant to pay homage to the player the court is named after.

Roland Garros has enjoyed a series of upgrades over the past few years. The 15,000-seat Court Philippe Chatrier was rebuilt for the 2019 tournament and the stadium’s retractable roof—the first on the site—opened in 2020. That design features 11 panels atop 11 trusses spanning 344 feet with a canvas covering.

The 2019 opening of Court Simonne Mathieu in the southeastern part of the grounds near the Serres d’Auteuil gardens gave the site its third-largest venue and spectators some much-needed breathing room at the major tennis tournament with the smallest footprint. Court Simonne Mathieu comes surrounded by four greenhouses, inspired by the architecture of the adjacent Formigé greenhouses and the semi-sunken nature of the court design encourages the stadium to blend into the gardens.

The roughly 633,000 spectators that venture to the 18 courts and 38,401 seats at Roland Garros for the French Open will in 2024 be met with an additional night session. In 2024, the tournament will feature 11 night sessions.

Along with the new roof at Suzanne Lenglen, the tournament will have an entrance show to accompany the players’ entrances on that court thanks to new LED panels and an entrance vestibule.

Fresh for the site’s four largest stadiums—Philippe Chatrier, Suzanne Lenglen, Simonne Mathieu and Court 14—are new players’ benches and chairs for umpires and line judges. The benches were designed with wooden slats inspired by the benches found in Parisian parks. The French-made furniture will expand to all the courts on site in 2025.

As part of the continued remaking of Philippe Chatrier, the player space located beneath the stadium received a redesign. The restaurant, bar, lounge and changing rooms have all been redecorated to mimic the style of Parisian apartments. The four players restaurants also garnered upgrades and will each offer themed food concepts, including Asian, Italian and a grill.

Roland Garros added Le Rendez-Vous near a waiting area at Philippe Chatrier. The tournament plans to host live musical performances and provide musical instruments for player.

The Club House, a social meeting place for players and their guests, has been revamped to include a gourmet bistro and table service. A tattoo studio introduced last season returns thanks to its popularity among players.

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