Redesigned “courtscape” to lead America’s Grand Slam into the next 50 years.
US Open Court Furniture
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the US Open, the United States Tennis Association hired Michael Graves Architecture & Design to reimagine the Tournament’s on-court furniture to launch America’s Grand Slam toward its next 50 years. The project included new player seating, chair umpire stand, line judge seating, and the “cooler corral” located against the wall behind the players. The goal for the project was to design a courtscape that is iconic to the US Open without overshadowing the action on the court; the true star of the tournament.
Research & Results
At the start of the project, MGA&D’s design team met with the various US Open stakeholders including (1) players, (2) officials, (3) fans, (4) facilities and maintenance, (5) sponsorship, (6) marketing, and (7) broadcast and technology to fully understand and map out the technical and user experience requirements for each piece of furniture.
Three Guiding Principles
Embody the new US Open brand identity & spirit of New York City
Have a premium feel to reflect the tournament’s and sponsors’ brands
Provide fans with unobstructed sightlines of the court
Has good durability
Dries quickly and is easy to clean
Is easy to move, setup, maintain and store
Provide ample space and access to all necessary equipment
Deliver seated comfort for extended periods of time
Must be ergonomic and stable
The research gave great insights to establish the guiding principles but also presented the challenge of balancing the stakeholders’ diverse wants and needs.
The project timeline was aggressive and required finished products to be delivered less than 8 months after kick-off.
Building a Team
We needed to establish partnerships with experienced industry leaders who could manufacture the pieces with both expediency and a high level of quality.
Landscape Forms, the industry leader in beautifully designed outdoor site furniture worked with us to manufacture the court furniture.
Process & Solutions
Click & Drag
Without time in the early design phase to produce full scale mockups and models, the MGA&D team used virtual reality technology to present design concepts to the USTA. This enabled the teams of USTA decision makers to make well informed decisions from each of their perspectives, and most importantly, it enabled them to do it quickly and confidently.
Seating should express utility, be comfortable, and carry a beautiful personality as well.
Creating objects that provide (1-3) prominent sponsorship opportunities without obstructing views of fans in the seats was accomplished with careful attention to forms, materials and colors.
For each piece of furniture, we balanced comfort and functionality by translating the wants and needs of each stakeholder into design details.
Examples: (1) Storage, (2) Wide Seats – 21 inches, (3) Stack-able
The court furniture is adaptable, movable, and durable. Features like (1) multiple chair locations for each player bench, (2) discreet wheels, and (3) quick dry materials make the designs work as hard for the staff as they do for the players and officials.
Use the slider to see the before and after of the originals designs vs the newly designed US Open 50th Anniversary furniture.