The K Club officially opened the doors of its new 50,000 sq.ft. clubhouse earlier this week to coincide with the Smurfit European Open which is being played over the Smurfit (South) Course for the first time.
The building, which has been designed by Dublin based architect, Brian O‘Halloran, is thought to be the largest golf clubhouse ever to be developed in Europe. It combines state-of-the-art facilities for golfers with a range of dining and function facilities that will now form part of an expanded offering by the K Club in these areas.
Last year saw the official opening of the South Course, or Smurfit Course as it is now called. The course was officially opened during last year’s Smurfit European Open when Dr Michael Smurfit hosted a major pro-am to raise funds for the Special Olympics World Games. In its first six months the new course attracted over 8,000 visitor rounds – almost twice the budgeted level.
The new clubhouse is based on the “Arts and Crafts” movement in architectural design, which became popular at the end of the 19th century. A particular influence is the work of C.F. Voysey whose approach concentrated on the use of a simple palate of natural materials. The effect has been to create a building that looks as if it has been there for a long time.
The architectural treatment mixes sloping natural slate roofs with sandstone effect details to windows and doors and roughcast painted render to achieve a soft overall treatment.
Projecting gables have been used to accentuate the main entrances and exits and the location of the main function areas. A number of large chimneys are also used to break up the mass of the building in visual terms. The main staircase has a glazed roof light projecting above the ridge of the main roof. On the golf course side covered and uncovered terraces can be accessed from the bar and restaurant. A smaller open terrace is provided at second floor level.
The finished clubhouse has a three-storey centre section and basement. The wings are single storey and two-storey respectively. The building appears slightly lower as the roof treatment is brought down to first/second floor level.
Internally the building is laid out to maximise views of the golf course. A central atrium provides the focus of the building. Around this radiate out the restaurants, bar, shop and routes to locker rooms. On the side most overlooking the golf course the large covered balconies allow dining during good weather with exceptional views of the course.
As director of golf, Paul Crowe, points out the new clubhouse is an important part of the overall facilities being provided by the K Club. “For instance the new clubhouse contains a function room, the Legacy Suite, which can cater for up to 350 people – a major addition to the facilities we can offer and one which will enable us to cater for weddings and large corporate functions.
“We are delighted with the new clubhouse. It really is an important addition to our overall facilities while at the same time being a wonderful clubhouse for the Smurfit Course.”
Brian O‘Halloran & Associates has been involved in all the main work at the K Club including the design and building of the original clubhouse and also the works on extending the hotel.
K Club www.kclub.ie