Multi Function Sports Complex
The Olympic Tennis Center is located in a former slum housing area in the middle of a busy motorway and train network. The built project includes the “magic box” with three indoor /outdoor courts, with covered area for 20,000 spectators,16 outdoor courts, five courts with a covered area for 350 spectators each, six practice courts, a pool, headquarters for the Madrid Tennis Federation, a tennis school, clubhouse, press center, stadium boxes and other private areas and restaurants.

The “magic box” concept encloses sports and multi-functional buildings but opens up and shapes itself to the various uses projecting a changing and lively silhouette in the cityscape. Its mobile and vibrant skin filters the sunlight, serves as a windbreak and shelters the sports halls in a lightweight shell.

Inside the “magic box” the tennis arenas are adapted to the different uses of the complex. The roofs of the three indoor/outdoor courts are giant mobile slabs mounted on hydraulic jacks, which serve to partially or totally open the three roofs to allow for passage of air and sunlight, or close them to avoid exposure to the rain or other hazardous weather conditions.

Together the three aluminum clad roofs provide a combination of 27 different opening positions. The roof of the central court can have a vertical opening reach of up to 20 meters while the horizontal opening can slide as much as its width. Both the smaller stadiums roofs can open vertically up to 25 degrees. They can also slide horizontally, leaving the inside of the stadiums completely open to the sky. The movements of the roofs on the scale of the immense structure throw a giant living shadow onto the landscape.

Perrault’s signature, metallic mesh, which envelops the “magic box,” is reflective or opaque, depending on the time of the day. In daylight, it shimmers. At night, light radiates from within, signaling the events underway inside.

Even in the worst weather conditions, Madrid’s Olympic Tennis Center can hold a minimum of three simultaneous matches. This versatility allows it not only to celebrate almost any kind of sports meeting, but also a significant number of other events, such as concerts, political meetings, fashion shows, etc. The project aims to reinforce the Spanish Capital’s candidature for the 2016 Olympics.


24 photos and 6 drawings

Building Activity

  • updated a digital reference
    about 6 years ago via Annotator