Real Tennis

Case Study - Middlesex



Middlesex University Real Tennis Club, The Burroughs, Hendon, London NW4 4BT.

Court built as an integral part of Burroughs Sports Club on Middlesex University campus.

Key Dates

  • Start of process: 1997
  • Opening of court: October 1999

Key People

  • Project Champion: Peter Luck-Hille
  • Other Key Individuals: John Lawton (Launch brochure); David Kirby and Martin Hadland of Middlesex University.

Design and Construction

  • Architect: Pringle Richards Sharratt (Ian Sharratt)
  • Consulting Engineer: Battle McCarthy
  • Quantity Surveyor: Dobson White Boulcott
  • Main Contractor: James Longley & Co
  • “Retaining the best features of more traditional courts whilst, at the same time, introducing modern materials and technology”
  • Floor: Floated concrete with methacrylate finish; Wirsbro under-floor heating system
  • Walls: Reinforced concrete (300mm/C40) in 5m sections with Armourcoat plaster finish
  • Penthouses: Timber and Maranti plywood, supported by inverted steel T section
  • Roof: Glazed elliptical roof (Kal-Zip aluminium) with management system for shadow-free light (Kalwall translucent panels) and ventilation
  • Lighting: 1500 lux at floor level
  • Access: Double doors at Hazard end
  • Other features: Digital video system for recording and training; electronic scoreboard; viewing from main wall gallery

Cost Summary

£1.5m approximately. Estimated current cost - £2.7m

  • Court Construction and Fitting Out: £950k
  • Reception Area, Professionals’ office and Changing rooms: £300k
  • Professionals Fees: 250k
  • VAT: Nil (due to Main Contractor error; University paid ultimately)


Luck-Hille Foundation

What would you do differently?

  • Timber ledges for galleries rather than Armourcoat finishes since these kept chipping

  • Eight-sided timber posts for galleries in place of round steel posts

Current Status

  • Club Membership: 100 Full; 35 Country; 10 individual Junior plus approximately 10 p.a. under an agreement with the Middlesex University; 125 Social
  • Active Players: 75
  • Court Occupancy: < 50%

Note: For further information, please refer to the MURTC / WRTC Update within the Technical Reports section of the website.

Peter Luck-Hille/Chris Bray/RAD, October 2019