Built on the site of a much more utilitarian clubhouse, this grand, multi-purpose building allows its affluent club members to keep recreation separate from weddings and dining.

"We designed this building to have four points of arrival," notes Jeff Goodwin of BAR Architects. "They could be coming to a social event or going straight to golf through a locker room, and they might want to show up in their workout gear and use the pool and fitness entry."

End use and beauty are inseparable in this design. The massings and window elevations were influenced by a Craftsman-style mansion that used to sit on a hill overlooking the site. The architects felt that the biggest change from the original building was the move toward a more residential feeling.

"We evaluated the club's culture," notes David Israel, the other architect on the project, "and we found that they're a pretty informal group. The old clubhouse had a very institutional feel, and our goal was to change that, to make it feel like an extension of their home."

In the process of designing a new space, notes Goodwin, the club also made big gains in terms of business atmosphere. Bright dining spaces with rich cherry detailing have allowed the club's food service to compete with local restaurants, at the same time allowing for much more effective service patterns and an efficient, state-of-the-art kitchen.

On the rear elevation, a grand Craftsman-style clock tower allows golfers to check the time as they finish the 18th hole.

"With the old building, you used to come up that fairway and be looking at the back of this old industrial building," notes Israel. "There was nothing memorable about that transition. Our idea was to be able to have a landmark that says 'Here's home.'"

Category: Community recreation building or clubhouse; Entrant/Architect: BAR Architects, San Francisco; Builder: S.J. Amoroso, Redwood Shores, Calif.; Developer: Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club, Menlo Park, Calif.; Landscape Architect: Richard Larson & Associates, Piedmont, Calif.; Interior Designer: Brayton & Hughes, San Francisco

Doug Dun

Great Bends

The cloister-like trellised portico spanning the front courtyard of the clubhouse almost didn't happen. "That was one of the things that was often brought up as something that could go on the chopping block if budgets demanded," notes architect Jeff Goodwin, "but really the club planning committee deserves a lot of credit. There were some members on there who were really looking at the big picture and saw that it would be foolish to ruin the design of the overall structure by taking it out."

Pleasant Alley

Alley-loaded garages help remove the visual impact of the garage door, but they often become forgotten spaces that are deemed unbuildable, says builder William D. Grant. This does not have to be so. The designers of Bellewood made the alleys very pleasant, he says. They used creative lighting and landscaping and stained all the private concrete driveways. Each home served by an alley has pierced brick walls and detailed courtyards.

Learn more about markets featured in this article: San Francisco, CA.