One of my favorite events of the year is the US Open in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Everyone in my family is an avid tennis player and fan alike. I am proud to say I took home the ladies’ championship in our local charity tournament this year, and my dad won the men’s. Giving back and winning continues to be a family tradition!
I have my tickets for the Women’s Finals and Men’s Semi-finals on Saturday, Sept 11, but am definitely disappointed that Serena will not be playing on the circuit this Open. I'm sure she'll be there to support her sister, but maybe to promote her newest business venture too – a chain of nail salons where the polishes are named after tennis terms! As a weekly manicure maintainer myself, I’d like to try all the colors, like 'Match Point', 'Love All' and 'Strings'.
So what does any of this have to do with materials? Well, it was really exciting to have just supplied materials for the USTA permanent booth. The booths on the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center grounds house a (tennis) shopper’s dream of apparel retailers. Polo Ralph Lauren is the sponsor again this year – need I say more? I can't wait to shop there next weekend - you know it's important for this Materialista to look at the top of her game!
It’s always fun to work on projects that hold personal interest, and the tennis connection started with the refreshed USTA headquarters, where they selected Porcelain flooring. Collaborating on the booth project made me appreciate the challenges and effort put into designing a space that has to perform well, but will only be open for 2 weeks a year.
Christie Kratzer, Design Principal of Reztark Design Studio, explains the design vision for the USTA booth, which will serve as the prototype for the other locations around the park:
“The USTA asked to unify their strong brand image in their retail locations creating a sophisticated and memorable experience with a new, fresh, sustainable face to compete with the high-end retailers on the grounds. The first phase was to renovate the Octagon which is a walk up store. All materials needed to be very durable and able to survive in a non-air conditioned space and promote the USTA’s green initiative. We used the Ecolinea wood veneer as a soft accent to represent he wooden rackets of old. The veneer has helped to bring the store to life.”