Slowtecture M - Tennis Dome | The Plan
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Slowtecture M - Tennis Dome

Shuhei Endo Architect Institute

Slowtecture M - Tennis Dome
By Redazione The Plan -

This public building commissioned by the Hyogo Prefecture is located in Miki in parkland created after the devastating earthquake of Hanshin-Awaji in 1995.
The complex has a dual function: first, as a disaster management centre; second, as a sports complex with nine tennis courts whose centre court is surrounded by 1500 spectator seats and is fully compliant with international competition regulations.
Form and structure conform to the building’s main function. The main constraint was to provide a huge, pillar-free space. In an emergency, vehicles must be able to enter the interior unhampered and there must be sufficient space to pitch rows of relief tents. In other words, although under cover, the area must be as flexible as a wide, open space.
This clashed, however, with the regulations for a complex hosting 1500 tennis match spectators where completely open spaces are not allowed. In the end, the problem was solved lowering the central arena six metres below ground level. The lattice frame structure allows wide untrammelled spaces while four large apertures are wide enough for vehicle traffic. There are other smaller entrances.
Endo has given particular attention to energy efficiency. All the tennis courts receive daylight from overhead skylights, reducing the need for artificial lighting. The glass panes have a protective film coating that prevents excess heating from the sun’s rays, during summer. Large expanses of the roof are covered with grassy turf, especially the south side where it rises 20 m. On the north side, the embankment is four metres high.
The artificial soil is a mixture of Japanese cedar and cypress bark chips. It contains 10 different types of seed and can be laid on surfaces with an inclination of as much as 70%. Initially, fast-growing grasses hold the soil in place. Later trees native to the area are planted and grow spontaneously. In this case, it took six months for the vegetation to grow. The grass bank-cum-roof...

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