Beach Clubhouse


A country club on the north shore of Long Island engaged Acanthus to design a replacement for their 1930 beach clubhouse, which was functionally and structurally deficient. The club’s primary goals for the new structure were to provide contiguous space for large events, add a second story for views of a magnificent natural environment, and to preserve the understated character of the original.

The design purposely echoes the region’s traditional shingle style: cedar shingle walls and roofs, wood porch ceilings, multi-pane windows and French doors, gables louvers, and interior wainscots and ceiling beams. The design departs from current elaborate adaptations of the shingle style and achieves a simpler character in its details. Columns are square with no base, newels have no caps, eaves and rakes project without rafter tails or barge rafters, and molding profiles are predominantly square edged.

The design uses certain modern elements in its details that introduce a level of sophistication that raises the building above strict revival architecture. These include stainless steel cable railings on both floors, tightly articulated rake and eave profiles, a retracting glass wall at the dining room, rail lighting, and a glass and stainless steel railing at the main stair.

From the outset the project also required careful consideration and navigation of environmental conditions and regulations. The site, which is on a narrow spit of land bounded by the Long Island Sound and a tidal creek, is in a high-velocity flood zone that is subject to hurricane-force winds and adjacent to sensitive tidal wetlands. The new building could not exceed the footprint of the original or encroach on existing setbacks from mean high water.

Credits: Environmental Consultant: Land Use Ecological Services Civil Engineer: Sidney Bowne & Son Structural Engineer: Koutsoubis Alonso Associates Mechanical Engineer: Lilker Associates Lighting Design: Light Defines Form Kitchen Design: Giampietro Associates

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    1124 Brookstown Avenue
    Winston-Salem, NC 27101
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