Tennis Club House at Scarborough Sports Centre, 1912, by Sir Edwin Cooper.
Reason for Listing
The Tennis Club House at Scarborough Sports Centre, designed by Sir Edwin Cooper and completed in 1912, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architecture: Sir Edwin Cooper's design for this building is highly competent, encompassing elements of Arts and Crafts and Art Deco influences to produce an attractive building well suited to its function
* Intactness: the Club House has survived virtually intact from its original design, in both its internal ground floor layout and its original windows, doors and other internal features. The addition of large extensions has been implemented with extremely little impact on the original fabric
* Historic interest: the Club House has hosted tennis events on a national and international level, involving the participation of internationally known tennis players such as Fred Perry.
* Rarity: as a building of architectural merit, associated with lawn tennis, it is nationally rare.
The club house at Scarborough Sports Centre was designed by architect Sir Edwin Cooper in 1910 and completed in 1912. Sir Edwin Cooper, who was born in Scarborough, had previously designed nearby Scarborough College (Grade II) in 1898. His Oxford Dictionary of National Biography entry refers to his responsibility for the Hull Guildhall (II*) in 1906, Marylebone Town Hall and Library (both Grade II) in 1914-20 and 1938-9, 40 St Mary Axe, City of London (Grade II) in 1922, the National Westminster Bank, Princes Street, City of London (Grade II) in 1929 and the Station and Baggage hall at Tilbury Docks (Grade II) opened in 1930. He also designed the Bandstand and Café at Scarborough Spa (Grade II*) in 1913. He was knighted in 1923 and was elected a Royal Academician in 1937. His earlier work showed the influence of Walter Brierley with whom he worked, but he later developed a more monumental classical style suited to the grand public buildings in which he came to specialise.
Local newspaper, the Scarborough Mercury, reported on the new club house in 1911, describing the various rooms including a central hall, men's and women's changing rooms, kitchen, members' room, public room and committee room, with a verandah from which 'people will be able to watch play on various courts'.
From 1913 the North of England Hard Court Championships were held at the club and in 1920 a new grandstand was opened. A turret was added to the centre of the clubhouse at some point, from which all the grass courts could be viewed, and various Davis Cup and North of England Lawn Tennis Championship matches were played here throughout the 1940s, 50s and 60s. A number of internationally known tennis players including Fred Perry, Ken Rosewall, Jack Kramer, Lew Hoad and Pancho Gonzales played at the club, and the well-known commentator Dan Maskell commentated from the turret.
The grounds and clubhouse were taken over by Scarborough Council in 1935, who approved a scheme to develop the centre in 1968. This was realised in 1974 when additional buildings were opened, linked to the original clubhouse by corridors from existing doors. There has been adaptation of some of the rooms but the clubhouse remains in use for its original purpose.
MATERIALS: red brick with grey slate roofs, with a mainly timber rear wing.
PLAN FORM: The clubhouse is set well back from the Filey Road with its main entrance facing east. The building is one and a half storeys high with public rooms on the ground floor, offices above, and is T shaped with a central rear wing. Later buildings (not of interest) are attached to west and south.
EXTERIOR: The east elevation is approached from a centrally-placed broad staircase of two short flights. The symmetrical front has a central entrance, plastered, with outer double doors with round windows, and a multi-paned sash window with external shutters to either side, recessed behind a portico in antis with eight smooth-shafted columns paired; the outer one on each side is a square pillar. Beyond, level with the pillars, is exposed red brick with three oval windows to each side. A basement level is visible below on the south side. Above, the widely-overhanging hipped roof is broken by a row of five dormers with multi-paned sash windows, and two tall ridged chimney stacks between the two outer dormers. The outer corners of the building have raised brick quoins. The right (north) return of the main building has round windows to either side with three openings between, the right hand two with sash windows and the left hand one with a timber door, all set below round brick arches. Below are basement windows and a doorway to the left, and above is a large three-light dormer window. The rear has one square multi-paned sash window with two smaller dormers above, to the north of the rear wing. The left (south) return also has two round windows and a large dormer above. In place of the three openings to the right is a flat-roofed, plastered, canted bay with two windows and a door similar to those on the right return. The rear return has two dormer windows, but is infilled at ground-floor level with an original brick built element which has a multi-pane square window and a catslide roof.
The rear wing has a central octagonal turret with windows on all sides. A series of pilasters support the grey slate roof, between which is a sequence of large multi-paned windows and glazed double doors with glazed panels to either side. Below the windows is horizontal timber cladding. On the north side are two doors and four windows, and on the south side two doors and two windows with an additional door at the east end which leads to a passage joining the building to a later block to the south. The west end of the rear wing is gabled with a continuation of the glazing pattern and a central door again leading to a short passage linking the building to a later block to the west. There is a large oval window in the gable end, and a dormer window near the west end of the north side.
INTERIOR: The outer doors lead to later glazed inner doors which open to the central reception area with a modern desk and fittings. A coffered ceiling is supported towards the entrance by columns matching those outside. A corridor to the right (north) with an arched ceiling leads to the kitchen area on the left and a door to the stairs on the right. At the end of the corridor is a meeting room, originally the members' room. To the left of the reception area is a door to another arched corridor, which leads to the men's changing rooms. This extends into the bay at the end of the range, and has modern fittings. Beyond the reception area is a large common room with a ceiling arched in its central portion and coffered around the north, west and south edges. This occupies most of the rear wing of the building. The outer areas are defined by rows of columns and the room is lit on three sides by extensive glazing. There is a bar counter at the east end and a hatch which links to the kitchen lying to the north of the reception area. A glazed door at the west end opens to a short corridor linking to the later building behind. The stairs to the extensive basement area and the upper floor are off the corridor to the members' room. The upper floor is divided into offices and service rooms, all with dormer windows; some walls and doorways are original, others inserted.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.