Millboard Chosen for Wimbledon Upgrade

Millboard Chosen for Wimbledon Upgrade

October 28, 2019

Millboard UK provide product for the Wimbledom No. 1 Court upgrade in London, UK

The Plan

2019 marked the culmination of the ‘Wimbledon Master Plan’ - an ambitious project to significantly improve the Club, its grounds and facilities. The project included a £70m renovation of No. 1 Court led by main contractors Sir Robert McAlpine, who previously managed the build of London’s Olympic Stadium. The project’s architects, KSS, drew up a cutting-edge design for No. 1 Court that centred around a one-of-a-kind retractable roof. This key component is flanked by two new tiers containing 900 seats – taking the stadium’s capacity to 12,400. KSS also added a two-level public plaza to take the place of Court 19, alongside upgraded seating, concessions and catering.

The Process

Millboard UK supplied approximately 3000m² of Golden Oak planks for this project. These boards were selected for the open-sided terraces to provide a naturalistic but resilient exterior. The boards were sent to an Austrian factory where they were each cut down to shorter lengths and fitted to aluminum mesh backing panels. They were then shipped back to London to be installed by Austrian façade contractor, Seele. The product supplied equates to an unbelievable 32km of 60mm wide pieces of Millboard Golden Oak.

Over 400 people worked through 2018 and early 2019 to bring the project over the line in time for the No. 1 Court Celebration on 19th May. The event was broadcast live on BBC One and featured three tennis matches alongside appearances from tennis legends, Martina Navratilova and John McEnroe. 2.2 million hours were worked to bring the Court to life and materials totalled 2,300 tons of steel, 130km of electrical cable and 40 miles of scaffolding. Building supplies were considered on their ‘traditional and innovative’ merits and sourced from all over the world.

The Outcome

A series of distinctive character areas within an enhanced historic setting. The unique distinct character of every single board truly represents the product’s natural appearance. This can be clearly seen over the whole area. With Millboard being entirely timber-free, the long-term maintenance would be very minimal, unlike real timber. With a very low fade rate, the façade will continue looking naturally beautiful for years to come.

"Many different options were considered and discussed with the Club for the No.1 Court facade, but Millboard's Golden Oak fitted the fundamental criteria of wood-look alike with minimal maintenance requirements. The realism of the boards is impressive and you can really see the variation in grain and colour as you would with real timber. Finally, the engineered boards offered material stability which was important to the setting, the quality and the design.” - Garo Davidian - Technical Director, KSS Group

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