SAY RUSTIC, IF YOU WILL. BUT please don't call the Mayacama Golf Clubhouse Tuscan or Old World. Architect Barry Berkus has soaked up plenty of the architecture of Mediterranean Europe over the years, but with this project he took his inspiration from the rough, arid environment of California's Sonoma County wine country.

Completed in the fall of 2003, the 38,422-square-foot facility offers members access to a Jack Nicklaus championship golf course, public and private dining, a spa, and wine storage and tasting facilities.

“Good architecture tends to invite you through layers of events and layers of form,” says Berkus, principal of B3 Architects. So the approach to the stone and stucco structure is through a portico that leads into a courtyard of olive trees, planted to form a grove and create a village square environment. Automobiles are stashed away in the back of the clubhouse's lower level, where those who plan to ride the course can pick up an electric cart.

At the far end of the lower level are the wine caverns, which lead outside to the wine grotto. “This is wine country,” Berkus says, “so we provided wine tunnels and vaults underneath, places for people to gather and for local vintners to display their wine. Members [even] have their own wine lockers.” The caves and grottos are intimate spaces with vaulted ceilings that are “textured interestingly and shaped so people want to spend time there,” he says.

In addition to the golf course, the rugged 655-acre site includes casitas for short stays. But there's no doubt that the rustic, U-shaped clubhouse—with its bowed red-tile roof, exposed timbers, and terraces looking out to the wine country—is the central attraction.

CATEGORY: Community recreation building or clubhouse; ENTRANT/ARCHITECT: B3 Architects, A Berkus Design Studio, Santa Barbara, Calif.; ARCHITECT: Marsh & Associates, Englewood, Colo.; BUILDER: Hayhoe Construction, Tustin, Calif.; DEVELOPER: Mayacama Club, Santa Rosa, Calif.; LAND PLANNER: Hart-Howerton, San Francisco

Builder Tip Playing Rough Materials as dry and rugged as the terrain are prominent at the Mayacama Golf Club-house. The rustic stonework is built with regional materials. Exposed timbers and hand-troweled plaster walls suggest a handmade structure. Sconces take the visitor back to the dusky oil lamps of an earlier century.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Santa Rosa, CA, Los Angeles, CA, Santa Barbara, CA.