The Ensworth School Tennis Center

Nashville, Tennessee

Design team: David E. Johnson, AIA (Principal); Michael B. Speck, AIA (Project Architect); Linda Mark, AIA (Project Leader)

The Ensworth School Tennis Center makes the “best and highest use” of its location, fully leveraging every square foot of a very tight site. The tennis facility, with six indoor and six outdoor courts, was built to accommodate its location ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY650COST PER SQ FT$124.00FEATURED IN2018 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSports Stadiums/Athletic Facilities a flood plain, literally raising the level of play. Placing the indoor courts on top of a garage not only addressed the flood plain issue, but also provides school parking as well as parking for community tennis players and other after-school events.
The facility is designed to maximize spectator views of both indoor and outdoor courts during tournaments. Elevated spectator seating for outdoor tennis matches strategically bisects the courts and is easily accessed from the indoor, third-story courts.
In order to simulate real seasonal playing conditions, indoor courts and spectator seating areas feature a cost-efficient tempered heating and cooling system that maintains temperatures ranging from 50 to 80 degrees. The new tennis facility dovetails perfectly with the vernacular of the surrounding campus and could as easily be home to an esteemed academic program as a sports venue. Further maximizing the building’s use, covered outdoor spectator seating and a press box on the rear of the facility are the perfect complement for the adjacent track and soccer field.
The indoor/outdoor courts make tennis a year-round sport at Ensworth. The new tennis facility already has hosted three USTA Junior tournaments and seven Universal Tennis Rating Tournaments in addition to countless high school matches and a match played by nearby Belmont University. The tennis courts also service the greater Nashville community, which is lacking in high-quality public courts. Through membership in the Tennis Club program, nearly 200 community players access the courts from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. when students aren’t using them.