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Where Are the Elevators?

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Playscraper Tennis Tower | Concept Design - Renderings by CRA: Gary di Silvio - CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati

A new design by the Italian architectural firm Carlo Ratti Associati is raising questions about the building’s practicality when it comes to vertical transportation (VT). The tower, nicknamed the “Playscraper” and reported on by New Atlas, consists of eight standalone tennis courts stacked on top of each other, reaching a height of about 300 ft. Each court features transparent walls to offer a panoramic view and an electronic screen on the building’s façade to stream tennis matches and other sports. Carlo Ratti, founder of the firm and architect of the project, said that the building will be easy to install and also to dismantle and move if required. However, the rendering of the building shows no place for elevators. While the project is still in the conceptual stage, this did not stop readers of the story commenting on the lack of VT in the design. One reader with the username buzzclick, noted: “Elevators, stairways, bathrooms, service areas? Safety? There is no practical reason to build such a finite-use structure, just because it’s stacked and may look cool.” Another reader with the username paul314 commented: “Unless those glass endwalls are structural, it doesn’t look like there’s much horizontal stability to keep those boxes from folding flat. Also, the rendering doesn’t show any room for elevators.” The firm is known for its unique designs, but even in a building as experimental as eight tennis courts stacked on top of each other, VT is essential.

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