Completed

2021

Location

Pittsburgh, PA

Size

15,000 sf.

Role

Design Architect, Interiors Architect

Program

Golf clubhouse, golf practice simulators, golf pro-shop, putting green, classroom space, meeting rooms, kitchen.

Sustainability

LEED SilverV4

INTERCONNECTED INTERIORS

The clubhouse interior was designed around a central “collector” space. The three-story collector is anchored by a forum stair which provides visitors a place to socialize or gather for lessons. The primary objective of this gathering space was to enhance visual connectivity between all levels of the building. From the collector, interior and exterior windows allow visitors to catch a glimpse of the clubhouse’s many interconnected rooms, from the Pro-Shop, to the Golf Simulator + Practice room, to the multipurpose classroom, to the course itself. From a technical standpoint, the collector space served as an elegant solution to the 6-foot height difference between the course-entry and parking levels. The third-floor rooftop terrace offers a bird’s eye view of both the course and the collector, bridging the interior and exterior spaces.

INDOOR GOLF TRAINING

Catering to the Arnold Palmer Learning Center’s mission of developing life skills, interpersonal skills, and athletic skills through the medium of golf, the clubhouse offers a spacious multipurpose room for both physical and virtual practice. An expansive putting green allows patrons of all ages to refine their basic skills and allows for personal instruction that offsets demand for the main course. Golf simulation stations allow golfers the option to train more powerful swings in a controlled environment. As with the majority of interior spaces, the multipurpose room can be seen from the central collector space for easy parental spectatorship.

HARMONY WITH NATURE

Due to the course’s expansive nature, the clubhouse not only serves as the beginning and end of any golf outing, but also as a key landmark for orienting players. The final design straddles the line between being a high-visibility structure and a structure which works in concert with its surroundings. Going beyond aesthetic concerns, the clubhouse’s design prioritizes sustainability and energy conservation. The slanted roof was carefully calibrated according to a year-round sun study, ensuring that the sun’s rays will naturally heat the interior only during cool months and be largely repelled in the warmer months. The design team coordinated with landscape and engineering teams to design a rain garden runoff system, which collects rainwater runoff and pollutants. The Arnold Palmer Learning Center is targeting LEED SilverV4 Certification.

ENGAGING A SITE’S HISTORY

With over a century’s history of serving both private and public golf enthusiasts, this course held special meaning to the local community. The decision to rebuild the clubhouse, rather than renovate the existing facility, was made in consultation with community members, and the City of Pittsburgh took steps to cultivate a shared vision for the site and its services. In designing the ground-up clubhouse, the design team took special care to engage with the course’s past — as seen in the decision to angle the facade in reference to the original clubhouse’s bridging of two separate buildings. The team also engaged deeply with the site’s material qualities, referencing stone retaining walls and a key connection between interior and exterior spaces.

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