Clubhuis Wouwse Plantage

A clubhouse for a golf club is the ‘pièce de résistance’ for the landscape. However, it is not an easy task to solve. The largest and most appealing examples of successful clubhouses that are in perfect harmony with the landscape are often old castles or mansions, with the ultimate example being St. Andrews.

This is not without reason, as these large houses had a functional relationship to the largest surrounding country estates and were intended to make an impression. They are appropriate for the scale and size of the country estate.

The functional programme and the accompanying construction budget of a new golf clubhouse can never compete with these old buildings. That is not necessary either. The harmony of a new clubhouse with the surrounding landscape will have to be sought in something else, namely in the sport of golf itself.

In particular, in the way in which the sport of golf has changed the typology of the landscape and has put this at the service of the sport. Wouwse Plantage is a striking and wonderful example of this due to its characteristic course architecture by Bruno Steensels. A landscape to play with, expressly distorted to serve the playing pleasure and sporting challenge.

Embedded in the landscape

The design for the new clubhouse of the Wouwse Plantage emphasises the relationship to the landscape and forms the final part of the renovation. It connects the holes of the northerly forest environment with the holes of the southerly heathland environment. There is no front or rear side, but instead an open connection between both scenic areas of the old 9-hole course. The new clubhouse forms a synthesis of golf, nature, and hospitality, and is a powerful and elegant addition to the landscape.

Collective and exclusive

The plan can be read as a cross, where the main axis clearly plays a more dominant role. The main axis is also the visual axis in the plan. The restaurant is located here, and that acts as a connecting element between both the various functions in the clubhouse and the golf course on two sides. The secondary axis is a logistics axis that leads people and supplies through the building. These two axes create four surrounding areas. Four function clusters, where the more logistic and private functions are on the greenkeepers’ side of the building, and the member functions are on the entrance side.

Civil engineering

The clubhouse consists of a semi-sunken cellar area with a floor that has two crossed axes above it. The main axis is construed here as a concrete beam incorporating a rhythm of columns and the secondary axis can be seen as a flexible column grid with retaining walls. On top of this, there is a curved ceiling on the main axis, that incorporates trusses, and on top of this is a roof comprising PV panels. On the secondary axis there is a flat roof with a landscape on top.

  • commission: new clubhouse for Golf Club De Wouwse Plantage
  • location: Bergen op Zoom
  • client: Golf club De Wouwse Plantage
  • programme: golf shop, reception, restaurant, offices
  • floor area: 1.500 m²
  • design: 2019