how would you like to play tennis in the sky? well, with this project unveiled by carlo ratti associati and italo rota, you might just be able to. called ‘playscraper‘, the concept imagines a 300ft tall tower comprised of eight stacked tennis courts. developed for RCS sport, the ambitious design uses an innovative steel structure to reach its vertiginous height. 

carlo ratti associati unveils 300ft tall 'playscraper' tennis tower concept designboom

renderings by CRA: gary di silvio



the concept proposes 60,000 ft2 (5,500 m2) of total playing space, with the courts layered vertically rather than horizontally. the towering design is made possible by the use of a lightweight stainless-steel sandwich structure developed by BROAD sustainable building (BSB) and inspired by the outer shell of a spacecraft. 

carlo ratti associati unveils 300ft tall 'playscraper' tennis tower concept designboom



‘this project would not just create a new icon for sports lovers,’  says 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.’

carlo ratti associati unveils 300ft tall 'playscraper' tennis tower concept designboom



designed not just for the players on the court, the long sides of each ‘box’ incorporate an electronic façade that can stream sports matches and other digital content. while on the short sides, transparent walls offer panoramic views of the outdoors. 



the project has been developed for RCS sport, the sport and media branch of the leading european multimedia publishing group RCS mediagroup. carlo ratti associati worked on the design as part of a larger team of engineers and technical consultants. 



project info:


project name: playscraper tennis tower

status: concept design

year: 2020

architectural design: CRA-carlo ratti associati

creative consultancy: italo rota

CRA design team: carlo ratti, antonio atripaldi (project manager), ina sefgjini, chiara borghi, aurora maggio

renderings by CRA: gary di silvio

project team: RCS sport (lead), RCS media group, RCS sport & events, CRA-carlo ratti associati, EY advisory, GAe engineering, leading law, kratesis, nugo, recchi engineering, systematica, paolo verri

construction material: BROAD sustainable building