- City:Wembley Downs
Text description provided by the architects. Gresley Abas were shortlisted via public tender to one of 3 architectural practices, and were then awarded the project on the basis of our Concept Design proposal.
The project involved replacement of the existing facilities with a range of hospitality offerings, function spaces, new changerooms and office space. Key considerations for the design were to improve the entry sequence of the precinct and to unify the buildings on a central axis to enhance the legibility of the development.
Our design embraces the fantastic views that the site affords over the course and east to the city and makes use of the topography to create an arrangement of simple architectural forms. This creates a strong identity for the development, whilst not competing with the existing facilities.
The development takes the form of a central promenade between 2 buildings, which connects the carpark to the pro shop, and the driving range beyond. This central axis is sheltered by a composite resin canopy, providing weather protection and also cohesion between the different built elements of the design.
The north building is conceived of as the ‘wood’ component, clad in horizontal timber battens over insulated, light weight walls. The building cantilevers over a solid off-form concrete base to the north over the course, utilising the topography to emphasise the lightness of this element. The timber soffit sweeps up at the entry to the function rooms and restaurant in a form reminiscent of the curve of a wooden club.
The use of timber cladding and lining is also proposed to extend to the interior of the function spaces, function breakout, restaurant and bar to evoke a sense of warmth and sophistication befitting the history and tradition of a golf club.
The southern changeroom building represents the ‘iron’. It is clad in standing seam zinc
cladding which has a crisp, articulated profile and sophisticated patina, teamed with off-form concrete walls and timber details. The entry blade wall of this building also houses a weathering steel and brass gate, designed by local artist Stuart Green. This building houses the changerooms, toilets and kiosk, which is located at the nexus of the bar and pro shop which serves as a hub of activity for golfers and hospitality patrons alike.
The canopy was intended to be a simple, quiet, unifying element for both the new and existing built elements on the site. Made from Fibre Reinforced Plastic, the material is very fluid and lightweight, which gave us freedom of structural approach. The tapered timber clad columns were inspired by the design of antique clubs, with their tapered timber shaft and irons cap. The columns are all set on unique angles to give the visitor the sense that they are passing through a forest as they enter the precinct.