“Playscraper”: Carlo Ratti unveils design for 90m tower made of tennis courts

Italian architecture firm Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) has revealed its design for a "Playscraper" made up of eight tennis courts stacked on top of one another.

The 90m "Tennis Tower", designed in association with veteran Milanese architect Italo Rota, was commissioned by Milanese multimedia publisher RCS MediaGroup, which does not have any immediate plans to build it.

MIT professor Carlo Ratti said the tower would be made of modular components, and could be moved from city to city.

"This project would not just create a new icon for sports lovers. It also experiments with a new type of public space, extending vertically instead of horizontally," he said in a press statement.  

"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."

Ratti’s rendering of the Playscraper

The end-walls of each court would be transparent, offering views of the outside world, while the long sides would have an electronic facade that can stream sports matches and other digital content for the benefit of passers-by outside the tower.

The courts would be lightweight stainless-steel structures developed by Chinese prefab specialist Broad Sustainable Building, which CRA says is inspired by the outer shell of spacecraft.

CRA is noted for its use of unconventional materials, as well as its use of vegetation in its designs (see further reading).

Its recent MEET Digital Arts Centre in Milan has stairwells that were made using laser-cut steel. The "Circular Garden" for Milan’s 2019 Design Week used mushrooms as a construction material, and the VITAE scientific research centre, due to open in Milan in 2022, will incorporate a vineyard.

Top image: The building would be made from modular stainless steel boxes

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