Golf Pavilion

The Golf Pavilion stands as a classic yet contemporary jewel on the green for the Ladies’ Golf Club of Toronto, providing a place of respite and refuel.

The Golf Pavilion, situated at the halfway point of the golf course, serves as a rest stop offering amenities such as snacks, beverages, and washroom facilities. Designed as a strict geometric structure within a natural landscape, the pavilion comprises a 41 sqm footprint tucked beneath an extended roof overhang that effectively doubles its usable space, drawing golfers in. The asymmetrical roof, weighted towards the back, imparts a directional motion toward the next hole. At the approach, a metal screen with angular bars is a nod to the clubs in a golfer’s bag and conceals the washroom doors.

The Pavilion was designed as a functional “folly in the park”. The roof’s low-lying horizontality stands as a beacon to golfers while giving visual priority over to the surrounding trees, pond, and rolling greenery. Primarily intended for no more than short periods of rest, the siting and landscaping around the Pavilion intentionally focuses the emphasis back to the course: the structure and outdoor seating is oriented to provide views over the course and adjacent irrigation pond. The pavers surrounding the structure align with the outline of the roof and are arranged in a herringbone pattern, emphasizing a sense of material craft and creating a patio large enough to accommodate larger groups. Self-serve refreshment counters help golfers keep an efficient pace to avoid delays in playing through.

The design and materials are utilitarian and robust to serve their purpose, while also imparting a sense of character and playfulness. Warm wood with contrasting metal and stone elements evokes a refreshed yet classic and soft aesthetic, relatable to the overall architectural expression of the club. Planted flowering vines will grow to climb up the east entry metal screen, whose vertical elements provide shading in a playful form reminiscent of golf clubs in a bag and conceal the washroom doors. The design’s raw materials stand out prominently amidst the forested course, enveloping the building as a jewel on the green.

As the structure is not meant to be occupied year-round, more typical building practices and systems could be eschewed, allowing the interior of the space to connect to the exterior in a more dramatic way. Daylighting takes center stage in the interior, combined with operable windows for cross ventilation that are supplemented by ceiling fans for thermal comfort reducing operational costs for lighting or climate control. The omission of thermal insulation, air and vapour barriers, and conventional heating and cooling systems aligns with the pavilion’s seasonal use, significantly reducing its carbon footprint. By avoiding eavestroughs, rainwater is directed into a channel of river rock around the perimeter, allowing water permeation into the surrounding landscape and mitigating runoff. The deliberate use of timber construction showcases a commitment to minimizing environmental impact.

The Ladies’ Golf Club of Toronto upholds a century-long legacy of being the only women’s golf club in North America. The Golf Pavilion is one of several new structures built on the course, as part of a larger master plan and investment undertaken to build for the club’s future. Utilizing only a modest budget, the pavilion is the first contemporary building on the site, establishing a new legacy and injecting a feeling of rejuvenation into a historical club.

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