Can a forest preserve and golf course co-exist within the same landscape? Can the game of golf and a forest preserve live in harmony? Is it possible to construct a building that reflects the natural landscape that surrounds it? Would it be comprised of natural materials bonded together by living bricks and mortar? At The Preserve at Oak Meadows, the answers are "yes".
We know the integration of golf and a forest preserve generates a ͞golf preserve͟ with a common bond of nature linking the two. After all, a key driver of the love of the game of golf is its connection with nature. But how do we compliment this bond? By introducing a building or campus that translates the variety of ecosystems in northern Illinois’forest preserve landscapes — including wetlands, prairie, savanna and woodland — into quadrants of building functions that remain sensitive to the forest preserve.
Architecture is not subjective, but rather intentional Lines of influence.........
The campus is formed by lines of influence from key points on the golf course and natural elements of the forest preserve and Salt Creek. This composition creates quadrants of function — golf, education and events, dining and support — and is in direct correlation with each ecosystem. The shapes create a radial effect similar to the lens of an eye, which opens to spectacular views of the course and preserve. Blending the architectural style of mid-century modern with the use of intersecting planes results in a campus that creates a gateway to thegolf preserve, a seamless transition of spaces, from interior to exterior and exterior to interior.
The use of natural materials embraces the landscape as if the building grew from the land. Shadow effects from the tree canopies above create a living space that is ever-changing. Exterior walls comprised of full-height glass allow views of the surrounding preserve. Within internal areas of the campus, numerous planters and living walls create intimate spaces. An outdoor gallery creates a stunning space for gatherings as well as casual walkways for golfers strolling from the golf shop to dining. The need for traditional artwork is minimized, thanks toabundant views of the preserve’s natural beauty, and living walls of flowing water and plant life.
The overall footprint of the clubhouse itself is less than 14,000 square feet; a basement provides additional space for operational support. Golf shop operations are located in the northeast quadrant of the building and allow for ease of entry for golfers, who can drop off their bags and check-in for a round of golf. The golf shop and cart staging area by tee 1 are in direct relation to the practice area. Locker rooms directly off the golf shop also have access to tee 1.
The building’s welcoming main entrance invites customers in to dine, or allows them to access the education and event space. The core dining area and bar offer unobstructed views of the course and of golfers approaching the green on 18 or teeing off at 10. Event and education space in the northwest quadrant of the campus offers a different vantage point of the preserve and insulation from golfing activities.
The delivery area is located in the southeast quadrant. It’s hidden to visitors but allows access to the centralized kitchen, which can serve the dining room, outdoor patios and special events at the same time.
To the west of the campus, remote restrooms at the turn allow golfers ease of access, and an outdoor bar offers quick snacks and refreshments. The bar and restrooms serve as the main exterior patio for this part of the campus.
In summary, the campus of The Preserve of Oak Meadows is naturally located within the site, flows from one space to the next with ease, creates a seamless transition of indoor and outdoor areas, and captures all the stunning views of the golf preserve.