The Sportime/John McEnroe Tennis Academy is the largest public tennis facility built in New York City in half a century and a key component of the redevelopment of Randall's Island. The project sits on a tight six acre site. The major components include a fieldhouse with five courts; fifteen outdoor courts enclosed seasonally in air-supported bubbles; a 16,000 SF clubhouse; and stadium bleachers for 1,000 spectators expanding to 2,500 for major events.
The design arose from program analyses that determined that the relatively small site necessitated combining the different building elements (fieldhouse, clubhouse and stadium) into one. The fieldhouse portion is comprised of a pre-engineered metal building of five equal bays. Under each bay is a tennis court. A sixth bay to the immediate east is the clubhouse. This bay is rotated away from the rest of the structure thus creating a sliver to bring in natural light to the courts and clubhouse. The stadium bleachers and indoor/outdoor viewing areas merge with the pre-engineered building to become one structure. The field color of the pre-engineered building is pale blue, the structure with the stadium and viewing areas is bright green. The color and lighting pattern on the south elevation animates this large facade.
The design confronts the unfortunate expectation for this project type: that they are sealed and climate controlled with little natural light or fresh air. The pre-engineered structure has louvers in its south and north facades. These louvers are part of a fan-assisted convection ventilation system intended to reduce the need for conditioned air. The bay with the clubhouse has windows and skylights to provide light and views.
Location: New York, NY, US