Tucked along a secluded road in Rye, New Hampshire, the Abenaqui Country Club offers members a private getaway steeped with grandeur and tradition. The clubhouse at Abenaqui Country Club dates back to the early 1900’s, when summer residents would ride their bicycles or take their buggies to the course. It was a classic era and the architecture of the clubhouse was reflective of that time. Members who wanted to escape the summer heat would often travel to the area to enjoy the leisure of a refreshing New England summer and the social engagement included.
As the years passed, club members continued to value the family tradition that the clubhouse provided, but started to become concerned with having an antiquated facility with numerous structural deficiencies. A growing membership, yearning for sufficient social interaction and event spaces, also drew their focus on updating the facility to address modern needs and conveniences. The club also saw tremendous growth in the desire to host larger events that could be attended by the entire membership and private functions such as weddings and anniversary parties.
The original clubhouse was an insufficient 8,857 square foot, which included a dining room, bar, kitchen, locker rooms, staff offices and support areas. The event area consisted of a small outdoor patio and tent which were adjacent to the bar and dining room and overlooked the putting green. Areas of the structure had settled as much as six inches, resulting in plaster cracks and uneven floors. Insufficient building envelope design and construction resulted in a drafty space that was difficult to keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
The solution was a comprehensive renovation to the existing spaces and a 4,050 square addition. A new primary entry was added to the building and configured to allow for ADA compliant access while the interior spaces received the treatment expected of a private club setting. The design team worked closely with the building committee, interiors committee and the club manager to establish new spaces including a function room with deck to accommodate 250, a new bar with lounge seating and an additional gathering space to accommodate 85. This allows for club members to continue to enjoy the use of the clubhouse regardless of private functions that may be taking place.
The new space is inviting and comfortable, but also built to today’s modern standards. A gas fireplace with a natural stone surrounding adorns the corner of the bar and is highlighted with stainless steel letters denoting 1903, the year of the club’s founding. This feature alone will extend the use of the space and make it a more desirable setting during the long New England winter. LED lights are used within the coffers of the function room ceiling to provide a soft light that enhances the architectural woodwork and the highlights the fabric covered ceilings. Larger bathrooms were designed to accommodate the larger events and the wrap around deck offers an outward focus to the course and the vistas of the seacoast.