Private first class
These residential court award-winners hit all sorts of themes.
They say variety is the spice of life, and that saying certainly holds true with our residential winners of the Racquet Sports Industry/U.S. Tennis Court & Track Builders Association 2003 Facility-of-the-Year Awards.
The winners include an eclectic mix of projects: a cushioned hard court surrounded by luxury; a cushioned acrylic hard court on top of a private residential recreation center; a sand-filled synthetic turf court; a clay court with underground watering built for a world-class player; and even a cushioned court in a private indoor structure. About the only constant among these five winners is that each project is new construction.
Zaino Tennis Courts of Orange, Calif., got the call to build a new sunken court at a posh Beverly Hills mansion. Construction of the Plexicushion Prestige cushioned hard court required removing part of a guest house, a basketball court, landscaping, trees, walls, and more than 3,000 cubic yards of soil, then adding retaining walls, stairs, drainage lines, a tennis pavilion, bathroom, walkways and new landscaping. City approval for the project took more than six months, but the result — a private little piece of heaven — appears to have been well worth the wait.
The owners of a residence in Conshahoken, Pa., wanted to play tennis and basketball year-round, so they put up a fabric structure over a Nova Sports cushioned surface (glued-down rubber membrane). The structure is translucent, with four 8-foot-high retractable side panels on each side. One of the biggest obstacles encountered by Horizon Sports Group of Coopersburg, Pa., was resistance to the project by neighbors and town officials, but one of their successful solutions was to educate local officials about fabric structures.
Requiring somewhat similar approvals was the private court in Lake Geneva, Wis., built by Munson Inc. of Glendale, Wis., which went through a number of design modifications and a long sign-off process with local residents. The Plexipave cushioned acrylic court is built atop a state-of-the-art, private, residential recreation center, complete with a locker room, shower area, weight room, home theater, bathroom, kitchenette, bedroom/office, garage, machine shop, and woodworking shop.
For the court at Stonewood in Chilmark, Mass., builder Cape & Island Tennis & Track of Pocasset, Mass., had to remove 80 tons of rock from the hillside site to install Plexipave’s Classic Clay synthetic turf surface over asphalt. A 3-foot-wide gravel base walkway surrounds the court, and more than 250 trees and shrubs were planted around the site.
When a world-class player from Boca Raton approached Fast Dry Courts Inc. of Pompano Beach, Fla., to build her clay court, she wanted something that would provide consistent playability yet be easy to maintain. The answer was a laser-graded court of Lee Tennis’s Hydroblend with a subsurface irrigation system.
When it comes to private courts, success is found in many different forms.
|Court at Stonewood|
|Private residence, Beverly Hills|
See all articles by Peter Francesconi
About the Author
Peter Francesconi is editorial director of RSI magazine.