No more rain

Court Phil­ippe Chatrier at Stade Roland Garros




Serge Ferrari


The French Open at the Stade Roland Garros is one of the four most important tennis tour­na­ments world­wide. However, since it rains some­times even in Paris, there have always been game inter­rup­tions. This was the main reason why the main court (Court Phil­ippe Chatrier) was rebuilt for the 2020 edition and equipped with a retrac­table roof.

The new roof of the Phil­ippe-Chatrier Court consists of 11 steel wings, clad with Serge Ferrari’s Flex­light TX30 compo­site membrane. As a result, tour­na­ments will no longer be inter­rupted by bad weather or night­fall.

Tradition and modernity

The pres­ti­gious Roland-Garros complex, located in Western Paris, borde­ring the edge of the Bois de Boulogne, receives thou­sands of visi­tors every year. Built in 1928, the Phil­ippe-Chatrier Court is the venue’s main stadium.

The court has seen signi­fi­cant restruc­tu­ring and impro­ve­ment works since 2018 and it could sit 15,000 spec­ta­tors during last year’s tour­na­ment. Though the site has already been trans­formed drama­ti­cally, it did recently face further major changes: a retrac­table roof, made from steel and clad with a trans­lu­cent and water­proof fabric, is being added to the struc­ture.

Supporting structure

The collap­sible roof consists of 11 steel beams, desi­gned and manu­fac­tured by Italian company Cimolai. The beams, weig­hing 320 metric tonnes each, were deli­vered on the site in 7 sections and were assem­bled on the central aisle of Roland-Garros. They were then lifted onto the sliding rails above the Phil­ippe-Chatrier Court.

Once in place, the 11 ‘wings’ were clad with Flex­light TX30 cove­ring, manu­fac­tured by the company Tensa­form.

The roof now covers a total surface area equi­va­lent to 1 hectare (over 100,000 sq ft) and will require appro­xi­m­ately 15 minutes to be deployed into place. The structure’s steel blades will be covered with 15,000 sqm (over 161,000 sq ft) of Serge Ferrari’s Flex­light TX30, which ensures matches may go on undis­turbed in spite of bad weather or night­fall.


The chall­enge was quite daun­ting: the project owner, the French Tennis Fede­ra­tion, wanted a solu­tion that could be fully deployed within mere minutes, that would allow the passage of natural light and would also deliver excel­lent acou­stic perfor­mance with the roof closed.

With the use of Alphalia Silent AW fabric inside the ‘wings’, the roof provides improved acou­stic perfor­mance during matches and in the event of rain­fall.


The Flex­light TX30 membrane is among the latest gene­ra­tion of Serge Ferrari’s flexible compo­site mate­rials, speci­ally deve­loped to meet the highest stan­dards of mecha­nical dura­bi­lity and aesthe­tics for high-profile projects.

In addi­tion to the quali­ties of the group’s unique tech­no­logy, this membrane also boasts an ultra resistant coating formu­la­tion and Cross­link PVDF surface cross-linking treat­ment. The Cross­link formu­la­tion of this mate­rial repres­ents a major breakth­rough inspired by Epoxy-type cross-linking treat­ments, reserved for hard mate­rials until now.


Its long-term resis­tance to oxida­tion and erosion due to climatic factors (UV, rain, snow) will allow the product to retain its struc­tural and visual quali­ties over decades.

The deve­lo­p­ment phase was carried out accor­ding to strin­gent metho­do­logy and approved by inter­na­tional experts on polymer photo-ageing. Despite ist light­weight, flexi­bi­lity and trans­lucency — quali­ties common to all flexible compo­site mate­rials -, the Flex­light TX30 membrane also provides unpar­al­leled dura­bi­lity for light­weight archi­tec­ture.

Serge Ferrari’s Précon­traint® tech­no­logy deli­vers perfect dimen­sional stabi­lity, offe­ring the possi­bi­lity to produce archi­tec­ture featuring unique shapes.


The new roof of the Court Phil­ippe Chatrier also offers excel­lent results in terms of acou­stics. This is, of course, due to the mate­rials that have been used.

Alphalia Silent AW is a compo­site fabric with high capa­city for acou­stic absorp­tion. It is perfect for deve­lo­ping inno­va­tive and crea­tive solu­tions to improve acou­stic comfort inside faci­li­ties inclu­ding public pools, water parks, restau­rants, thea­tres, gyms, etc. It absorbs 65% of ambient sounds with no addi­tional absorbant required and provides solar protec­tion and trans­lucency.

Creative and sustainable

Thanks to its excel­lent and lasting mecha­nical proper­ties, inclu­ding in wet and chlo­rine-heavy envi­ron­ments, the mate­rial is extre­mely durable without main­ten­ance. Alphalia Silent AW is flexible and compa­tible with complex shapes and long-span designs. It is also enti­rely prin­table. This flexible compo­site fabric was desi­gned speci­fi­cally for inno­va­tive acou­stic solu­tions.

The exten­sive reno­va­tion work at the Stade Roland Garros has been worth it. That much can defi­ni­tely be said after just one tour­na­ment. This is signi­fi­cantly due to the spec­ta­cular new roof of the Court Phil­ippe Chatrier.

Ever­y­thing works, and will for a long time.

We did this.

Project Data


Fédé­ra­tion Fran­çaise de Tennis


Auf der Kaiser­bitz 3
D — 51147 Köln

Physical address

Stade de Roland-Garros
2 Avenue Gordon Bennett
F — 75016 Paris




Lucie Deguille



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