Razorback Golf Center
- Marlon Blackwell Architects
- S Maestri Rd, 72704 Fayetteville
- 100K - 1M
- 1-5 Piani
The University of Arkansas Razorback golf team and Blessings Golf Club members share a golf course and a practice facility in the Clear Creek valley. Practice tees and putting greens of plush zoysia grass surround the facility. A series of hitting bays face east to the practice course and driving range; sandwiched between the 4th and 5th bay is a large team meeting room with its glass wall acting as a lens through which golfers can mentally project their game onto the picturesque course beyond. The activities of the east side, with a greater direct link to the golf course, are, appropriately, transparent and open. In contrast, the thickened wall or zone of the locker rooms and offices along the west side has a sense of density and weight.
The standing seams of a copper wall precisely aligned with window openings and the standing seams of the copper roof, form a folded shell, an elytra, that extends beyond its stone body as cantilevered wings that shelter terraces at each end of the building. The copper skin loosely wraps the building and provides a sense of imperviousness to the activity around it. Acting as a silent mask, the copper clad wall conceals the building’s internal activities from motorists along the adjacent state highway and also provides a sense of time in the change exhibited by the developing patina of the copper. An orthogonal box set against the tree-lined valley, the building’s surface is given volume by its minute separation from the dry stacked stone base beneath. This strategy of disengaging the wall from its base, adds an element of mobility, levity, and autonomy to the shell.
The Razorback Golf Center transfigures the conventional metal building type, so often used for university sports buildings, by embodying the precision of movement necessary for golf in the meticulous articulation of the formal elements of the structure itself.
When I first examined the building site, it was late afternoon. Just beyond the long shadows of trees, the west face of a simple metal-clad farm shed, glowed in the receding sunlight, peacefully poised in the valley. The shed has since been razed, but its qualities, I hope endure in its reincarnation.