The New York Times has an article about the new facilities in Madrid – “La Caja Magica” – it sounds amazing.
“It’s a box that transforms itself constantly — closed, open or illuminated,” Perrault said in a telephone interview last week.
The box’s three adjustable roofs are its signature feature, giving Madrid instant bragging rights over any other tennis tournament. Melbourne Park, home of the Australian Open, has two stadiums with retractable roofs. Wimbledon, no longer finding rain delays quaint, is about to inaugurate a translucent, retractable roof over its venerable Centre Court.
But the roofs at the Caja Magica, which can open or close in 20 minutes, are a step beyond in that they are all independent elements of the same structure and, unlike Melbourne’s roofs, they do not simply slide. They also are configured to be lifted in the manner of a box lid, which can make the top of Perrault’s box look like kinetic sculpture.
“We can be 100 percent outdoors, and in that case, the roof slides,” Perrault said. “And then there are these intermediate positions that are very comfortable and that give the feeling of being outdoors but also protect the courts from the wind.”
“The box is also not constructed with walls,” he added. “It’s constructed with a metal casing that acts like a big curtain that lets the air pass through but stops the sun and the wind and also the rain. At night, the box is a magic lantern. The light comes from the interior of the building, and then, at that moment, it lights up the entire curtain and the facade disappears, and we see the structures of the stadium inside.”
Wow. I would really love to see this place in person. If it functions as they are saying, it sound like perfection.
The stadium court seats approximately 12,500 and has been named for Manolo Santana, the tournament director and former Spanish men’s champion. The second court seats approximately 5,000 and has been named for Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, the former Spanish women’s champion. Court Three seats 3,000 and might already be named for Rafael Nadal if Nadal were not still in his prime.
Prime people. That’s some prime Rafa.