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Strasbourg, Tennis Club, Paul Le Quernec

Sunshine Every Day: Tennis Club in Strasbourg

Shaped like a gigantic leaf that tapers towards the front, the canopy at the main entrance to the tennis club juts into space. The roof’s supporting structure shimmers through the translucent skin. The canopy serves as both a marker for the entrance and as a sunscreen for the terrace of the integrated café. At night, the curvilinear contours are illuminated and show the way. Furthermore, a dynamically shaped concrete floor guides visitors into the clubhouse.

The colour of the interior flows out through the terrace doors, which have rounded corners. The white-plastered façade forms a clear contrast to the bright orange of the floor inside. The heart of the ensemble is right by the main entrance: the café. The bar, designed by the architect himself, is a one-of-a-kind piece made of massive slabs of wood. The sculptural fitting winds its way through the room over a length of 777 cm. It is fixed to the floor only at one end; the other end is anchored to the ceiling.

Fluid forms

There is more space-defining furniture in the foyer. A bench of solid wooden slats arranged alongside each other hugs the wall and reflects the curve of the ceiling above. Curves and fluid forms dominate the entire interior of the clubhouse. The skylights are particularly striking. They are shaped like a tent suspended with cables; the effect is reminiscent of the Olympic stadium in Munich. However, in contrast to the stadium, the tip of the skylight is open and sends light into the room. Moreover, it is a massive construction. Wherever tension cables would be, strips of lamps accentuate the figure.

The floor of the clubhouse is meant to reinforce the effect of the daylight. Directly under the skylights, the epoxy resin is beige, which becomes a bright shade of orange towards the edges of the room. The architect has used the colour as a type of “augmented reality” that suggests sunny warmth, no matter what the weather forecast may predict.

The clubhouse, which is dominated by organic shapes, is just one part of the project. On the western side of the grounds, a sports hall with three tennis courts has been added to the existing court area.

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