Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning
Bronx, New York
The Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning is a multi-use facility, where New York City's underserved children will receive free tennis lessons and academic enrichment. As the new flagship site for New York Junior Tennis & Learning, it will also host local, national and international tournaments in a 127-acre recreational setting of natural parkland in Crotona Park. Facilities include a clubhouse for educational and community activities, 20 adjacent public tennis courts, and 2 sunken exhibition courts with stadium seating for 1,000. The clubhouse will also host Billie Jean King's "Go Girl Go" program. The building and stadium courts are partially buried as a strategy to minimize the impact of a large structure in the park and also to take advantage of natural geothermal heating and cooling of below ground surfaces.
Conceptually, the venue is designed as a series of platforms--both for viewing tennis, from beginner to professional level, and metaphorically a platform to encourage afterschool learning--a project to create the opportunity for inner city kids to experience success on the tennis court as well as in life.
A public/private partnership with the City of New York and the Department of Parks and Recreation, the design received the 30th Annual Award for Excellence in Design by the NYC Public Design Commission under Mayor Michael R. Blooomberg.