ArchitectMarlon Blackwell, Architect
Sheet Metal ContractorFranklin and Son Inc.
The objective for the Blessings Golf Clubhouse was to develop a contemporary structure, unique to the Ozark Mountain region that resists the prevailing historicist precedents most commonly represented as an antebellum home or a hunting lodge. The Clubhouse acts as a type of covered bridge which creates an entry portal that operates as a breezeway framing the eighteenth green, and through alignment with the companion building to the north, the University of Arkansas Razorback Golf Center acts as a threshold to the Robert Trent Jones-designed golf course beyond. Conceived as an animate form, the building receives the visitor beneath its cool and shaded underbelly, not unlike the clefts and caves found in the nearby hills.
Materials for the building exterior were chosen to provide a timeless palate that will age gracefully with little maintenance. The second-story volume, a multi-textured copper tube in pre-fabricated standing-seam and flush seam copper panels, sets up views primarily to the golf course through large glass-window walls and porches. The copper volume, in shifts and cantilevers, establishes a detached relationship to its stone base. The patina of the copper has a richness and warmth that compliments iron deposits and sedimentary colors in the native stone, used as material for the builiding's base. The building is aligned, along its western edge, with its companion building to the north, the University of Arkansas Razorback Golf Center, a practice facility shared by the University of Arkansas golf team and Blessings Golf Club members.
Standing seams of copper walls align precisely with roof seams and window openings, forming a folded shell, an elytra that extends beyond the stone body as cantilevered wings to shelter terraces at each end of the building. The copper skin loosely wraps the building and provides a sense of imperviousness to the activity around it. Acting as a silent mask, the copper-clad wall conceals the building's internal activities from motorists along the adjacent state highway and also provides a sense of time through copper's developing patina.
An orthogonal box set against the tree-lined valley, the building's copper surface is given volume by its minute separation from the dry stacked Ozark stone base beneath. This strategy of disengaging the wall from its base, adds an element of mobility, levity, and autonomy to the shell. The Blessings Golf Clubhouse and the Razorback Golf Center attempt to demonstrate that conventional commercial building systems can be transfigured into a design solution that recalls an established lineage, that of the traditions of the game of golf, while simultaneously transcending customary responses by commenting on the present.
Architectural Categories: Standing Seam Roofs and Walls, Flat Seam Roofs and Walls