'The diamond' welcomes tennis fans

Updated: 2011-10-04 07:57

By Wu Ying (China Daily)

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BEIJING - Cut? Done. The diamond is awaiting its polishers.

The newly-built National Tennis Court was finally unveiled on Friday night and will become a Mecca for tennis diehards during the week of the National Day holiday.

With an impressive faade of 16 giant V-shaped suppor

'The diamond' welcomes tennis fans
ting structures, the new center court for the 2011 China Open has been dubbed "the diamond".

"We are very proud to have got the opportunity to design this stadium," said Xu Lei, chief architect from Atelier 11 of the China Architecture Design and Research Group. His team is the one which cut the diamond.

When talking about the relationship between the new court and its two "big brothers": the Lotus and Moon courts, Xu described it as "harmonious".

But the "diamond" can hardly hide its own glitter and glamour. The retractable roof is one of its grand features, according to the chief architect.

The two-layer retractable roof can keep the venue warm and absorb sound while natural light can still penetrate through it. Thanks to the roof, players and fans will have no worries, even when nature put on its sulky face.

The experience of the spectators was a primary concern.

"Our biggest tribute to the fans is the 360-degree viewing platform, on which you can see the Western Hills, the Bird's Nest, and the top of the Lotus Court," Xu said on the seventh floor of the enormous venue, pointing at the hazy silhouette of faraway hills.

"What we care about most is the feedback from the general public. We have seen some people taking pictures of the court, which shows that they are at least interested in it, which makes us feel quite gratified." Xu said.

For those with a fat wallet, the double-layer boxes can meet their needs. According to Xu, this design is on a par with the status and the tradition of the sport.

"If this stadium can make a little contribution to the development and influence of China's tennis, we will feel very happy." Xu said.

The 45.3-meter-high new center court is on the west side of the National Tennis Center, with a construction area of 51,199 square meters, which can accommodate 15,000 spectators. It is the largest tennis court in Asia and a truly glittering diamond.

China Daily