The 14,069-seater arena was opened by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) on August 22, in a dedication ceremony attended by, among others, four-time US Open champion John McEnroe, internationally acclaimed musician Wynton Marsalis and former New York City Mayor David Dinkins.
The new stadium, the final piece of a US$600m five-year strategic transformation, features an innovative design that encourages air flow through the building while keeping rain off the court, making it the world’s first naturally ventilated tennis stadium with a retractable roof.
The USTA wanted a stadium capable of hosting tennis matches in an open, day-lit outdoor environment as often as possible, with weather protection provided only when necessary. To meet this brief, Rossetti designed Louis Armstrong Stadium with an operable roof as well as a naturally ventilated bowl, which enables play to continue during rain.
On each side of the stadium, the façades are covered with 14,250 overlapping terracotta louvers, optimally positioned to keep rain out, yet porous, to maintain natural ventilation. The louvers allow airflow through the upper part of the building on the north and south elevations while protecting the court from the rain and shading spectators from the sun.
The design of the stadium uses a perforated seating bowl that enables air to pass through underground air pathways and into the lowermost seating. The concourse levels are designed to be open around the entire perimeter, to facilitate maximum airflow into the stadium from all sides and into the spectator areas.
Louis Armstrong stadium will host its first official match when the main draw of the 2018 US Open begins on August 27. It will also host a dedicated night session for the first week of the tournament, giving the US Open two stadia with night matches for the first time in tournament history.
McEnroe, who followed up the formal dedication by playing in an exhibition match, said, “Alright, this is awesome. I know the players are going to be super excited. As a New Yorker and as a Queens boy, I couldn’t be prouder of this stadium.”
August 23, 2018
By Tara Craig