When you think about the addition of tennis courts on a school campus, you might not consider that there is a major role for an architect in the project. But careful design makes for a winning result. Our JJCA team, led by David Johnson, Linda Mark and Michael Speck, were definitely on their game with the design of the Ensworth tennis facility.
The focal point of the project is a set of six indoor and six outdoor courts. The facility is strategically designed to maximize spectator views of both indoor and outdoor courts during tournaments. Like the school's natatorium, the tennis facility had to be built to accommodate its location in a flood plain. Literally raising the level of play, the courts are located atop a parking garage. Garage layout and signage have been designed to properly direct students and non-student tennis facility members to their designated parking areas. Sizing the parking garage to fit with the design of the courts resulted in oversized parking spaces - an added benefit for student drivers who might need a little extra wiggle room!
In order to simulate real seasonal playing conditions, indoor courts and indoor spectator seating areas feature a tempered heating and cooling system. Indoor temperatures, while not allowed to get too hot or cold, fluctuate with actual outdoor temperatures, allowing players to practice in temperatures that more closely approximate those they'll be competing in. Non-glare lighting ensures that players can keep their eyes on the ball.
The new tennis facility dovetails perfectly with the surrounding campus and also provides spectator seating and a press box for the adjacent track and turf field. The parking deck also houses a maintenace storage area that conveniently locates all lawn care equipment in proximity to where it is used most. Plus, the courts are designed for maximum flexibility, with easy-to-remove nets and poles and divider curtains so the facility can accommodate a wide variety of events and activities.
Our work with Ensworth over the years has always been enjoyable, but this project was truly a labor of LOVE!