Knollwood Country Club

Project Scope
5,500 SF of interior renovation, plus a 1,700 SF covered porch addition, plus another 1,500 SF of patio.

Award
HOBI AWARD HBRA-CT 2022 HOBI Award for: Best Commercial Rehab

Design Team
Architecture Incorporated
Travis West Development

History
Established in 1894, as one of the oldest golf clubs in the USGA, Knollwood Country Club is rich in history. The club endured two World Wars, the Great Depression, and a devastating fire in 1919.  The clubhouse has evolved through several additions and renovations, including a recent interior renovation and patio addition.

Interior
The design challenge was to bring a century-old building up to modern standards while respecting its rich traditional heritage. The main level renovations include a new bar that blends the traditional wood detailing with new modern finishes, including a window wall that opens to an outside bar. The superior craftsmanship of the millworker is evident, as the new woodwork blends seamlessly with the old. The main dining room was transformed into a bright and vibrant space with nostalgic wall graphics and full-height booths. Double-hung windows were replaced with a folding window wall to further open the space and bring light into the room. Former offices were removed to create a new wine-themed private dining room with full-wall wine displays and a faux wood beam ceiling. New light fixtures and furniture create an elegant aesthetic. The restrooms were rebuilt to be fully accessible with new finishes that complement the design. The locker room showers and restrooms were reconfigured and renovated on the upper level to replace dated finishes with new millwork, glass shower doors, and lighted mirrors. 

Exterior
A major highlight of the renovation is the new multi-level outdoor stone patio and covered dining areas comprising multiple fire pits, ceiling fans, and casual seating. A low wall surrounding the patio was covered in cultured stone that perfectly matched the club’s exterior stone walls—making a seamless expansion of the outdoor amenities. 

Challenges
The project was not without unique design and construction challenges—renovating a 100-year-old building requires skill, expertise, and patience from all involved. For example, the original porch roof sloped back towards the building with an internal drain system. When water damage was discovered during the demolition phase, the team had to redesign the entire porch roof and the supporting structure of the building. The new design changed the slope of the roof, pushing water away from the building—fixing the drainage issues without changing the character of the historic design. Also, when structural columns were discovered inside walls scheduled for demolition, new beams were quickly designed and installed to achieve the new private dining room.

A crawl space was discovered under the dining room, which necessitated the redesign of the mechanical system. The exhaust system for the restrooms and locker rooms also needed to be completely reconstructed. The modern design uses 100% LED light fixtures and energy-efficient plumbing fixtures, including hydro-powered urinals that generate their own power for hands-free flushing; a new underground stormwater system was installed to capture 100% of the runoff from the added impervious area; and updated HVAC systems meet the modern energy codes.  

The contractor and design team needed to adapt quickly to the market conditions as there were constant changes due to product availability and labor shortages related to the pandemic—ultimately delivering the project on time.