Translucent, shimmery, membraneous, sustainable. When I saw the look of this tennis court in Architectural Digest, I was blown away…and I don’t even play tennis. (By the way, October 2006 AD is chock full of modern + sustainable architecture!) At Jetson Green, I talk a ton about residential green spaces or commercial skyscrapers, etc., but I haven’t spent that much time on sustainable structures crafted specifically for sport, hobby, or play. Architect Robert Rhodes put together a striking, modern tennis court/spa/attached residence for a client that I need to share.
Just a short skip down a slate trail from the main residence is this tennis court embedded in a New York investment banker’s 8 acre, well-wooded property. The goal for the architect was to conform to the local zoning requirements, apply sustainable building principles, and keep consistent with the surrounding flora. I think they did a phenomenal job.
The client + architect wanted the court to "look like trees." Here’s what they did to keep it green + sustainable. First, they built the tennis court into the ground so that the structure wouldn’t stick out. The same principle applied when they decided to use tennis-green, transparent polycarbonate-panels; the panels allow enough light inside for day use and keep out the harsh sunlight for cooling purposes. Second, the court’s energy is supplied by two geothermal wells. And third, they used an ipe deck (economic + ecologic) between the attached residence and court. Also note, there is a subterranean spa below the deck that connects the guesthouse and court. Investment banker Cribs anyone?
The laminated-wood beams stretch vertically, almost as if they are the actual trees that surround the court. Aesthetically, the panel and beam design finishes out the structure so that it blends and matches the surrounding environment. And while I think this investment banker won’t be able to practice his lob, he surely will be able to relax, spa, and play tennis in a court fit for English royalty!