Water-ski Clubhouse

New Clubhouse for a Waterski club, Co. Down

Set amidst farmsteads, the existing water-ski club was hand built in the 1970s by its first members on a small plot of land surrounded by reeds at the side of a small lake in Co. Down. At the end of every summer the chairs are stacked on the pool table and the building is closed up. In winter, flooding is inevitable, sometimes as high as waist level. At the beginning of every spring the duckweed and mud are mopped up, the boat is pushed out and the season begins anew.

The annual flooding having taken its toll on the existing structure, we were asked to make a proposal for a new clubhouse on the same site. Our initial move set the building above the flood level, which at times reaches the top of the surrounding reeds. Designed as two separate elements, one for socialising, the other for changing and storage, both connected by a slow ramp and bridge, the clubhouse takes advantage of the elevated views and connects more readily with lakeside activity. The forms and openings of the building came from nearby cowsheds and memories of farms from children’s books showing the inner activity of barns in half-light, a warm glow emanating from within.

As the building is used seasonally, meaning it would be unoccupied for the vast majority of the year, the exterior metal doors are designed to provide security when not in use and protect against the weather.