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County Club of Fairfield

Fairfield, Connecticut

Interior Design: Mark P. Finlay Interiors
Photography: Warren Jagger and Larry Lambrecht

Designed to echo the Colonial Revival style of the original building, this brand new ‘old’ clubhouse stands as an understated, yet identifiable, landmark of this historic and revered Club. The master plan of the project encompasses a range of forward-thinking amenities for the Club’s future to accommodate an ever changing and evolving membership. Scale, proportion and intuitive navigation were all tactics employed to create a layout and experience that serves the needs of the membership and staff while also establishing a consistent precedent for future improvements to the site. With so much history at stake, the architect approached the design of each space and the building as a whole with careful consideration to the Club’s origins. The classical architectural details act as an expression of both function and style. 

The entrance and front elevation of the structure were arguably the most important considerations in the architect’s design. The membership was determined to maintain an established and low profile look from the road. Achieved through a composition of volumes, proportions and traditional details, the approach to the new building is in keeping with the scale of the many turn-of-the-century residential properties scattered throughout the historic town.

In 1913, there existed an old onion farm and salt marsh, the land on which the course was built. This land was transformed into a spectacular outdoor experience for golf. It was, therefore, important to the Club that the engagement between clubhouse and land was upheld and accentuated. Rear dining terraces flow on grade directly behind the 18th green and encourage a direct connection between golf and the clubhouse interior.

A vital component of the Club’s operations was to incorporate an adult only lounge area in which members could congregate both in and out of season. The barrel-vaulted ceiling and lacquer finished millwork distinguish this space as an elevated atmosphere and sought-after destination throughout the year.  The framed view through the centralized picture window captures an optimal 4-season scene, which acts as a constantly changing painting.

Beginning as a men’s only organization in the 1920’s, the incorporation of women and family spaces into the Club’s facilities in a substantial way became a critical item of the project’s program list. The architect engaged to provide both architectural and interior design services, used extensive experience with other club work to determine how best to formulate spaces to be inclusive yet defined. Maximum efficiency of the clubhouse was achieved by creating options in navigation and incorporating a variety of uses within the same room. Architectural details signal utility changes within the space. The main grill room, for example exhibits these concepts such as an internal corner window, a protruding fireplace volume and symmetrical bar with corresponding ceiling millwork. There are choices when entering the space and members enjoying the room can find the unique area that suits them best.