• DATE 2013

Winter Bubble, Caesarean Tennis Club

Retail, Hotel & Leisure

The Caesarean tennis Club felt a temporary lightweight dome over their existing 4no. uncovered hard courts would allow tennis to be played virtually all year round. Accordingly the decision was made to install a new temporary single skin, air supported dome structure. The single skin cable dome structure would be for seasonal use and can be de-mounted as required. The single skin membrane is 90% transparent, allowing natural daylight during the daytime, and artificial light from the floodlights in the evening to light the courts. The outer protective foil layer can be replaced every 5 to 6 years to remove the build up of unsightly dirt from birds, trees and atmospheric pollution, which would otherwise reduce the loss of light penetration. Whilst the temporary dome is probably Jersey's lightest building it also required a substantial concrete "ring beam" to anchor it down and prevent wind load and suction from tearing it apart. However, we also had to accommodate rainwater run-off drainage from the dome and the cables for new floodlighting between the courts. Hence, this essentially very simple bubble also involved quite complex co-ordination below ground in its substructure. The temporary bubble has been a great success and encouraged many people to play more tennis or tennis for the first time. It is also a curiously beautiful space to be inside, with a light and airy feel and sense of the elements outside from which the occupants are protected. As a building form it appears oddly heavy during daytime, but at night its essential lightness and transparency is revealed.

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