High translucency PTFE glass fibre fabric from architectural fabric membranes specialist MakMax Australia was used to create the centre court roof at the Queensland Tennis Centre.

The Queensland Tennis Centre is a modern riverfront facility that provides all three Grand Slam court surfaces of clay, grass and hard-court. The spectacular 5,500-seat centre court is flanked by 23 international standard courts, pro shop, cafe, change rooms, meeting/ function facilities and administration offices.  

The design brief was to create a centre court roof that would provide all weather shelter for both athletes and spectators without casting distracting shadows, reducing natural light or impacting air circulation. Sustainability and aesthetics were also key design requirements.  

Award-winning architects, HPA created a floating design that checked all the boxes for cost-efficiency, energy-efficiency, durability, fire resistance and aesthetics. By attaching the roof structure to just four columns, the architects were able to create the floating effect that promised cool shade with abundant air and soft, natural light.

HPA chose the high translucency PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) glass fibre fabric for its combination of tensile strength and high light transmission with Sheerfill II transmitting 16% of light without UV radiation.  

The translucent fabric maximises the entry of natural light, contributing to a significant improvement in energy efficiency with reduced demands on electricity. PTFE glass fibre fabric is known for its ability to cover a large area with minimal use of structural support. The durable PTFE can also last for more than 30 years, reducing the need for repairs or replacement often required by traditional materials.  

The fabric roof was installed over a period of four weeks with its impact guaranteed to last for many years. Now named the Pat Rafter Arena, the Centre has attracted accolades from many international and local athletes as well as visiting professionals who comment on its simple beauty as well as improved conditions for players and spectators alike.