Marc Mimram : Court Simonne-Mathieu

The year 2019 marks a remarkable turning point for the French Tennis Federation (FFT). On March 21, new gathering and play spaces were inaugurated at the Stade Roland Garros, including the remarkable Simonne-Mathieu court, designed by the architectural agency Marc Mimram. A discovery made during an astonishing day of visit during which the editorial team was able to "test the ground" for these new achievements.

When Michel Corajoud proposed the project for the new layout of the Roland Garros site for the international tennis tournament, he wanted to make it more permeable, more open to the city.
This involved opening up a large public space and building a new 5000-seat court in the adjacent garden. The special mark of this garden is to welcome botanical greenhouses, built in 1898 by Jean Camille Formigé.

It is in this dialogue with the historic greenhouses with cast iron and glass architecture very characteristic of the XNUMXth century that the project for the new tennis court was born. It will be semi buried in a concrete bleacher base, surmounted by a steel structure and surrounded by botanical greenhouses of very high technical performance.


The new greenhouses create a glass case welcoming plants from four continents. It was a question of returning to this reference subject of metallic architecture in the template of the neighboring greenhouses, without mimicry, but, in dialogue with what constitutes since the Crystal Palace of 1851 in London, an absolute reference of lightness, frugality, delicate relationship between light and structure.
However, the new greenhouses require double glazing and insulation performance far superior to previous constructions. The project uses a decomposition into glass scales with edges shifted in two directions. This makes it possible to shape a skin varying under the lights in a diffraction effect, of vibrations supported by reflections on the decomposed bias planes. The steel structure of the greenhouses orders the movement and resonates with the frame in balance of the steps freeing a perimeter gallery.

The dialogue between garden and sport, between botany and tennis, between technical and physical performance, takes place in a shared space.
The practices cross over time and the tournament participates in the development of the botanical garden. The new court Simonne-Mathieu shows if it was needed, the necessary permeability of urban pleasures in an ever greater mix of uses.

The book in a few key figures:
1435 m² of new greenhouse
5000 seats
Metallic frame of the stands: approximately 230t of steel
Metal frame of greenhouses: approximately 220t of steel
5000 m² of glazing
900 glass scales

Project title : Court Simonne-Mathieu
City, Country: Paris (16)
Owner: NC
Mastery of work : Marc Mimram
Area : NC
Cost of works: NC
Calendar : NC

For more information, visit the Marc Mimram website

Photographs: Erieta Attali

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