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

Stakeholder Needs

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

Visibility

  • 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

Utility

  • Has good durability
  • Dries quickly and is easy to clean
  • Is easy to move, setup, maintain and store

User Experience

  • Provide ample space and access to all necessary equipment
  • Deliver seated comfort for extended periods of time
  • Must be ergonomic and stable

Challenges

Landscape Forms, the industry leader in beautifully designed outdoor site furniture worked with us to manufacture the court furniture.

Process & Solutions

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.

Behind the Scenes


Design Thinking & Process