Award-winning design: Steyn City Clubhouse

by Darren
Award winning design

Boogertman + Partners’ design of the Steyn City Club House won the LEAF Hospitality Building of the Year Award as well as a LOERIE in the category Communication Design – Architecture.


“This project makes me feel like dusting down my golf clubs. The design of the new clubhouse creates a harmonious tension between man-made and the natural.”

This was some of the comments from the judging panel who awarded Boogertman + Partners’ design of the Steyn City Club House in Johannesburg the prestigious, international Emirates Glass LEAF Award in the Hospitality Building of the Year category.

The Emirates Glass LEAF Awards is an annual international architectural prize that recognises innovative architectural design that sets the benchmark for the international architectural community of the next generation.

In addition, this project also won the local architecture firm a LOERIE Award in the category Communication Design – Architecture, which recognises the best work produced in the brand communication industry across Africa and the Middle East.

Changing the norm
Nestled in the heart of Johannesburg forming part of a 1000ha residential estate, Boogertman + Partners has been given the opportunity to change perceptions in golf club design in South Africa.

Previously an abandoned quarry that was left vacant, the brief was to have as little impact on the site as possible, to integrate the building with its surroundings and the indigenous landscape, as well as to create architecture that is responsive and sensitive while still being functional and sustainable. The goal was to explore the boundaries of what is currently perceived as clubhouse architecture and re-establish the benchmark.

Merging with the natural landscape
The conceptual point of departure has its roots in nature’s potential for the abrasive and unrelenting, and in the establishment of architecture where once there was nothing, and utilising the fissures in the landscape to create life, shelter and space. The idea was to blur the boundaries of interior and exterior, achieving a constant connection with nature and creating a harmonious tension between the produced and the natural.

The grassland sweeps over the architecture, and it in turn merges with its surroundings by exploiting the slope of the land to intentionally reduce its scale. The fragmentation of the building components enhances its connection with nature by juxtaposing the buildings organic shapes with the Highveld landscape. This achieves a harmonious symbiosis between nature and the architecture which nestles within it.  

Environmentally sensitive
Great care has been given to utilise local materials and labour, recycle excavated material and implement of water conservation to further enhance the building’s sustainability.  The green roof however, primarily to conceal the building and make it as one with the landscape, is used to reduce heat gain and shifts heat load through the roof at night when the external loads are not present. This allows the passive ventilation system to function optimally and allow for the building’s heating and cooling to be drastically reduced and evolve from traditional HVAC systems.  

Emphasis was placed on the latest technologies regarding lighting, heat reclaim and distribution, grey water utilisation, recycling and reuse of building material, greening of the architectural facades as well as the use of façade shading systems and performance glazing.

The interior reflects the connection with the landscape through its rich and natural approach of using different layers in texture, a natural toned colour pallet and use of natural materials.

The building is a constant reminder of the relationship to nature by taking the user to the edge where the connection with nature is apparent and unavoidable. The architecture for the Steyn City golf club house achieves within the city, a harmony and continuity with nature. This is a privilege conventionally reserved for buildings usually far removed, in an environment far outside the city limits.

Full acknowledgement and thanks are given to Boogertman + Partners and LEAF International for the information to write the article.

Steyn City Clubhouse – project details:
•    Size of project: 3 000m² front of house, 12 000m² including parking.
•    Start date: December 2011.
•    Completion date: November 2013.
•    Boogertman + Partners Team:
o    Wessel van Dyk (Design Architect)
o    Jean Grobler (Project Architect)
o    Ridhwaan Essa (Architect)
•    www.boogertmanandpartners.com

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