The 2015 Australian Open has brought with it the opening of a new addition to Melbourne’s sports precinct, the Margaret Court Arena designed by NH Architecture and Populous in joint venture.
A AUS$183 million revamp of the old Show Court One, the new Margaret Court Arena boasts an additional 1500 seats and a retractable roof to protect from Melbourne’s notoriously inclement weather.
Much has been made of the roof, which is purportedly the fastest operating in the world. Certainly, compared to the 30-minute closing time for the roof of Rod Laver Arena, which Margaret Court Arena adjoins, it is whip-fast at five minutes. As Hamish Lyon, principal of NH Architecture, argues though, the re-designed arena is about more than just fancy engineering and extra seats, but an opportunity to create a uniquely Melbourne experience for visitors.