SCX celebrates involvement in Wimbledon’s new retractable roof


At this year’s Wimbledon Tennis Championships, the retractable roof of No.1 Court was used for the first time and engineers, SCX, were behind its literal rollout.

The roof is part of a major three-year redevelopment of No.1 Court. It can be fully rolled out or retracted in an average time of eight and a half minutes, weighs around 1,000 tonnes to cover the 12,000-capacity crowd.

Sheffield-based SCX group designed, which also provided the rood for Center Court in 2009 and recently worked on the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, engineered and installed the new retractable roof.

The concertina-style roof is built using 11 trusses that span the 246ft (75m) width of the stadium. The trusses are divided into two groups, both of which can travel independently to any position as required. The trusses are stored at the north end of No.1 Court when not in use, leaving the south end of the stadium open to natural sunlight to help the grass courts grow.

The No.1 Court roof was closed fully for the first time because of fading light during the women’s singles match between Donna Vekic and Alison Riske.

“It’s a hugely complex structure, but it could not have been delivered more smoothly. It’s a great testament to what we delivered first time around on Centre Court that our approach is largely unchanged for No.1 Court. The mechanical design is fundamentally the same: it’s the electronics to control the roof that have moved on considerably,” said John Biggin, lead engineer at SCX Special Projects.

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James has been Editor of Stadia since 2018 having worked at print and digital magazines and websites around the world covering everything from lifestyle to sport, technology, motoring, and more. He also edits Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International.

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