In 2007 we were approached by a sports enthusiast to design a NBA-caliber indoor basketball court with related entertainment and support facilities on a steeply sloping site in Pacific Palisades.
Our solution employs a simple palette of concrete, wood, plaster, and steel. Together with a careful composition of elements, the restrained material palette helps to wed the project to the site and minimize its necessarily large scale. To reduce its visual impact, the Court is nestled deep into the hillside and as much as 35 feet below grade, presenting its short side to the street. The primary elevation echoes the residential scale and massing of the surrounding neighborhood, giving scant evidence of the program within.
The vast interior is defined by six hull-shaped trusses spanning the playing surface. Lit from within and clad in translucent fabric, the trusses rest gently on a canted wall of absorptive material that ‘warms’ the space acoustically and provides a dramatic sculptural counterpoint to the spare rectilinear volume. A simple bar along the opposite side houses locker rooms and work-out facilities at court level, and arena-style seating, a refreshment bar, catering kitchen, and media room at mid level. The client’s office suite and a recording studio are reconciled in a low, glazed pavilion that crowns the whole composition and opens to an expansive landscaped roof.