Real Tennis

Modular Tennis Court

The Tennis & Racket Association’s Modular Tennis Court is a new demountable prefabricated Real Tennis Court which is more flexible, faster to erect and cheaper than using more traditional methods of Real Tennis Court construction, whilst still achieving the ‘bounce and feel’ of a traditional masonry court.

The Modular Court is a new approach to court design, which takes advantage of modular timber construction techniques allowing for easy and quick construction (and, if required for any reason, demounting) of the court. An extensive programme of laboratory testing indicates that the playing characteristics of the engineered timber court will be very similar to courts built using more traditional methods. The construction methods will allow a functioning court to be constructed within an existing building, if appropriate, or with its own external roof and walls.

Modular Plan with thanks to Robert Snell and Partners
Modular Plan with thanks to Robert Snell and Partners

Freestanding modular court inside an existing structure

A large internal space is required to house the court, which may be an existing building (e.g. a warehouse or hall structure) or an inflatable sports dome. It is assumed that the court will be served by an existing support facility infrastructure (changing rooms, toilets, etc.), such as on the site of a school or sports club.

It may be permanent and fixed in one location but has the ability to be temporary, demountable and upgradeable. To provide the essential internal playing environment, the court is structured to support the playing surfaces only and its foundations are provided by the building within which it is located.

The court is made from a kit of parts, themselves repetitive and pre-fabricated and readily erected within a larger co-ordinating system.

Indicative cost: £500k excluding VAT

Construction of court as an independent, standalone building

Fully weather-tight, including a roof and external cladding system, based on the same modular system as above, using the same identified court materials to give the characteristics which most closely replicate the traditional court game.

This model integrates the following additional features:

  • External facade and roof (various options to suit specific locations)
  • Foundations and drainage
  • Artificial lighting

As a standalone building, the design can be developed to integrate additional facilities to suit and court sponsor’s user requirements, e.g. reception and changing room spaces, professionals’ office, etc.

Indicative cost: £800k excluding VAT

Modular Court
Modular Court

Arrangement with Robin Snell & Associates (RSP)

The design architects of the Modular Tennis Court, RSP, will provide a single-use license for the design to any bona fide Court Sponsor identified by the T&RA in return for a fee, as set out below, to be paid to RSP before full design details would be disclosed:

  • First modular court - nil
  • Subsequent modular courts - £10,000 per court

T&RA will introduce RSP as project architect and recommend their appointment to any Court Sponsor, although RSP’s appointment and terms of engagement are solely a matter for the Court Sponsor. RSP is willing to waive any license fee if appointed as project architect on acceptable terms

T&RA package offered to prospective Court Sponsors

Recognising that support has been provided by the T&RA for previous court builds and that, if this new modular design which the T&RA believes may prove to be a cheaper and reliable method of constructing courts is to be adopted, it will need additional support.

For the first court to be built using the modular design, the T&RA will increase its level of support from the level offered in the recent past of 10% of the total court cost to 20%.

This offer of Enhanced Support will be conditional, among other specific matters that may be identified in any given project, on the Court Sponsor appointing RSP as project architect.

Robin Snell/ Chris Davies/RAD, July 2020