Text description provided by the architects. The new 14,069-seat Louis Armstrong Stadium, located inside the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, features an innovative design that encourages air flow through the stadium while keeping rain off spectators and the court, making it the first naturally ventilated tennis stadium with a retractable roof in the world.
The vision of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) was for the stadium to host tennis matches in an open, day-lit outdoor environment, as much as possible, and provide weather protection only when necessary. In keeping with this vision, ROSSETTI designed Louis Armstrong Stadium with an operable roof as well as a naturally ventilated bowl. The design offers a unique solution that is true to the outdoor nature of the tournament by allowing play to continue during rain. On each side of the stadium, the facades are covered with 14,250 overlapping terracotta louvers, optimally positioned to keep rain out, while remaining air permeable to maintain natural ventilation. The louvers allow air flow through the upper part of the building on the north and south elevations while protecting the court from the rain and shading spectators from the sun. The terra cotta material was chosen to contextually relate to the traditional brick buildings on the site while using the material in a new way.
The design of the stadium uses a perforated seating bowl that allows air to pass through underground air pathways and into the lowermost seating. The concourse levels are designed to be open around the entire perimeter to allow for maximum airflow into the stadium from all sides and into the spectator areas. Multiple studies, computational models and wind tunnel tests were conducted to understand weather patterns, wind direction and wind driven rain. The stadium is on track for LEED certification.
The USTA and ROSSETTI completed the 10-year vision plan to re-imagine the entire campus as a sports spectacle with the culmination of Louis Armstrong Stadium and the finalization of other public realm improvements at the 2018 US Open.