Carlo Ratti Associati (CRA) and Italo Rota have unveiled designs for the Playscraper, a Jenga-like skyscraper that stacks together eight tennis courts for a total of 60,000 square feet of playing space. Developed for RCS Sport, one of Europe’s leading sport and media companies, the 300-foot-tall Tennis Tower is designed to be built with the B-Core slab structure, a lightweight stainless-steel sandwich structure developed by Broad Sustainable Building that takes inspiration from the outer shell of a spacecraft and has been used in prefabricated projects. The Playscraper would also incorporate electronic facades to broadcast sports matches and other digital content.
Developed with no proposed location, the conceptual design for the Playscraper — a Tennis Tower would consist of eight sandwich structures stacked on top of one another to house a total of eight stand-alone tennis courts. Full-height glazing would cap the narrow sides of each rectangular volume to provide panoramic views of the surroundings and to let in ample natural light. Digital facades clad the two long sides to function as massive TV screens for streaming sports matches so that those in the surrounding areas can watch live matches from below.
“This project would not just create a new icon for sports lovers,” said architect and engineer Carlo Ratti, founder of CRA and director of the MIT Senseable City Lab. “It also experiments with a new type of public space, extending vertically instead of horizontally. 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.”
The Playscraper’s use of unconventional materials and forms builds on CRA’s recent portfolio of works that include a mycelium Circular Garden installation at Milan Design Week 2019 and the new MEET Digital Arts Center in Milan that features a digitally fabricated laser-cut “vertical plaza” at its heart.
Images via Carlo Ratti Associati