The building you see above may look like a gigantic piece of shredded wheat, but it’s actually a (very) non-traditional tennis complex for Vaxjo, Sweden! David Tajchman, a Paris-based firm, designed the aptly named Tennicalator to be made out of locally sourced wood as part of an international design competition, but the woven facade isn’t the only cool thing about it. Since the area and neighboring buildings have a strong connection with the surrounding nature, David Tajchman decided to take the Tenniscalator vertical instead of horizontal, leaving the remaining land for beautiful gardens and manicured grounds.
As opposed to a horizontal design, the proposed wooden structure would take up only 10% of the site, leaving the remaining land for landscaping. Stacking the courts not only leaves room for extensive grounds, but also takes advantage of economies of scale. Lighting, plumbing, heating, cooling and ventilation systems are all contained in one structure and can be more efficiently controlled. Locally sourced lumber, a sustainable material when responsibly harvested, would be used to construct the Tenniscalator.
Inside, the center would feature 6 levels, 3 of which would have tennis courts with spectator seating, while the bottom floor would house the reception area and a cafe. The top courts would be open to the outside. On the exterior, the facade is constructed of crosshatched structural members with windows covered in horizontal laminate boards. The original inspiration came from knots in wood, so the building also features large knot-like windows. Lots of natural light filters in through the wooden structure during the day to help reduce lighting demand. When the center is not being used for tennis practice or competitions, it can also be used for concerts, fairs and conferences, making it a multi-use building.