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Brisbane State Tennis Outdoor Show Courts
Brisbane State Tennis Outdoor Show Courts

Brisbane State Tennis Outdoor Show Courts


Entrant: UFS Australasia Pty Ltd - Designer / Fabricator
Location: 190 King Arthur Terrace - Tennyson Qld 4105
Client: Mirvac  Architect: Mirvac Design   Struct. Eng.: Wade Engineering
Specialist: Steel Structures Australia
Builder: Universal Fabric Structures / Ozrig
Fabricator: Skyspan Asia

This project was entered in the LSAA 2009 Design Awards, Category 3 (#37008)


The Queensland State Government approved and funded the development of a first class international tennis facility for Queensland to be located in the Brisbane CBD at Tennyson. The facility offers all tennis playing surfaces, a covered main court stadium and two covered outdoor championship size show courts. The State Tennis Centre was completed in time for the Adidas international in January 2009.



The UFS brief from the client was to design and construct two architectural tensile membrane structures for weather protection, to the championship size show courts of the new Brisbane State Tennis Centre. This had to meet International tennis standards in relation to enclosed court tournaments. Emphasis was also placed on providing clear unobstructed viewing for spectators.

The preferred design that UFS tailored was clear span in all directions and remained in harmony with the main stadium whilst meeting the standards required.

Design Brief

One of the major constraints on the design was that the structure had to conform to the strict height clearance requirements for ITP tennis which are 12.2m at the net and 9m at the baseline. The design that we completed had to adhere to the height clearances whilst still providing maximum protection from sun and rain at the edges of the court surface below. The structure also had to remain in harmony with the main stadium.

Structural Systems

The structures are supported by four main corners Dia 457mm CHS columns that combine with trusses running down the long side of the courts below. The trusses support the main roof arches and form a turtle back shape. Each structures highest point is in the middle over the centre of the net below with the widest point around the perimeter also at the net line.

Each 1100m2 canopy therefore has only four columns reducing the structures impact on obstructing tennis viewing dramatically. The turtle back shaped provided maximum coverage by extending beyond the main support trussing system and curving from corner to corner. Each structure is clad in perfectly tensioned PTFE Membrane patterned and fabricated into one piece per structure. The other main unique, innovative and challenging design aspect of the structures is the fully integrated services design that consists of;

• A full perimeter custom gutter system that collects all Stormwater and delivers it to the Stormwater system via a half round gutter, corner sumps and steel downpipes concealed within the 4 corner columns connected to the Stormwater system within the footings .
• Custom structural lighting brackets designed specifically to support the state of the art lighting system required to achieve the 1000 lux lighting level required for TV cameras.
• Integrated electrical wiring system consisting of special brackets to support high level cable trays, wiring running inside the columns and electrical access points for servicing on the main columns.

The completed structures overall profile is truly stunning and compliments the main stadium roof whilst meeting or exceeding the clients brief.

In addition to the two show court structures we were contracted to provide 21 hypar spectator structures to cover the seating beside each of the courts.


PTFE 11 - HT 150 - Sheerfill for longevity and self cleaning capabilities.
CHS structural steel.
3 Coat paint system.


Standard fabrication techniques were used.

For the steel work, the drainage and electrical services were designed to be hidden inside the columns and special lighting brackets were combined with the main steelwork to support a special high lux lighting system.

Construction and Maintenance

The four columns were erected first, with the main support trusses being built at ground level and then lifted into place and braced. Once secure, the roof beams were lifted into place and all bracing was then completed.

The fabric was one piece for each structure and lifted onto the centre of the ridge down the long side, the fabric had already been folded and flaked in the factory to allow it to be easily be pulled out and positioned into place. Tensioning was completed using UFS extrusion systems around the complete perimeter with a weather flap being secured into a gutter system to provide a complete seal.


Total approx $1.2M