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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