Designed by golfing legend, Peter Thomson, the Open Course at Moonah Links – the home of Australian golf – is the first 18 holes purpose-built for a national championship. In collaboration with Alan Synman, Karl Fender was tasked with designing a clubhouse matched in aspiration.
Eschewing the traditional notion of clubhouse as quaint and picturesque backdrop to each round’s denouement, ours is a building of the times, yet one infused with a character wholly appropriate to the game of golf.
Low, strong and sculpted, the structure spans the top of a dune, establishing an expansive rear-viewing deck that completes the 18th hole’s amphitheatre setting, while also affording vistas to the rest of the course and beyond.
The Australian Golf Museum occupies the building’s centre; its presence announced to the front by a dramatic porte-cochère that sails over the clubhouse roof. More perfunctory facilities, like the pro shop, change rooms, bars, dining room and office are distributed either side; their varied architectural expressions unified and organised by the undercut rear verandah.
Nodding to the gentle undulations of the local topography with the sweep of its softly curved form, the verandah attaches to the clubhouse via pergolas, creating interplay between light and shade throughout the day. Viewed in profile, its supporting columns splay sequentially like the frozen moments of a perfectly executed golf swing.
Timber predominates the material palette. Left to weather naturally, it ensures the clubhouse touches the landscape lightly and looks very much at home amidst the indigenous Moonah trees, dunes and grass.
The design of this project was a collaboration between Fender Katsalidis and Synman Justin Bialek (SJB), now branded as PLUS.