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Carlo Ratti Associati reveals "Playscraper" Tennis Tower that will feature multiple tennis courts

Italy Architecture News - Dec 03, 2020 - 12:58   9155 views

Carlo Ratti Associati reveals

International design and innovation office CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati with Italo Rota has unveiled plans for a tennis tower concept which will feature multiple tennis courts stacked on top of one another. 

Named Playscraper, the project was developed for RCS Sport, the sport and media branch of the leading European multimedia publishing group RCS MediaGroup. 

CRA worked on the design as part of a larger team of engineers and technical consultants on the project. The design is applied by using an innovative construction technology based on a lightweight stainless-steel sandwich structure, developed by the company Broad Sustainable Building (BSB).

Carlo Ratti Associati reveals

Reaching at 90-meter (300-foot) height, Tennis Tower will consist of eight courts, totaling 5,500 square meters (60,000 square feet) of playing space. 

The courts are layered vertically rather than horizontally, using BSB’s B-Core slab structure, a solution inspired by the outer shell of a spacecraft. As CRA highlights, "this technology made international headlines in the past, as it allowed for the safe deployment of prefabricated construction units in record time."

"This project would not just create a new icon for sports lovers," said architect and engineer Carlo Ratti, founder of CRA and director of the MIT Senseable City Lab. 

"It also experiments with a new type of public space, extending vertically instead of horizontally. The tower is easy to install and dismantle and can be easily moved. This flexible approach fits the circular nature of today’s sports competitions, which move from location to location throughout the year."

Carlo Ratti Associati reveals

The Tennis Tower contains eight sandwich structures piled on top of the other, each containing a stand-alone tennis court. The narrow sides of each "box" feature transparent walls offering panoramic views. 

The two long sides incorporate an electronic facade that can stream sports matches and other digital content. In this way, the tower’s unique design engages not just the players on the court, but those in the surrounding area who can view the action on its wide screens.

Several recent projects by CRA explore the use of unconventional materials in architecture. The newly-inaugurated MEET Digital Arts Center in Milan is centered around a "vertical plaza" whose stairwell was digitally fabricated using an innovative laser-cut steel sandwich. 

CRA also experimented with mycelium, the root of mushrooms, as a compostable construction element, most notably with the Circular Garden installation produced in conjunction with energy company Eni at Milan Design Week 2019. 

Also in Italy’s financial capital, CRA used nature itself as a building block with VITAE, a scientific research center featuring a 200-meter long urban vineyard. VITAE was developed for Covivio and is scheduled to open in 2022.

Project facts

Project name: Playscraper Tennis Tower

Status: Concept Design

Year: 2020

Architectural Design: CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati 

Creative Consultancy: Italo Rota

CRA Design Team: Carlo Ratti, Antonio Atripaldi (Project Manager), Ina Sefgjini, Chiara Borghi, Aurora Maggio

Renderings by CRA: Gary di Silvio


Project Team:

RCS Sport (Lead), RCS Media Group, RCS Sport &Events, CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, EY Advisory, GAe.

Engineering, Leading Law, Kratesis, Nugo, Recchi Engineering, Systematica, Paolo Verri.

Construction material: Broad Sustainable Building

All images courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati 

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