Not Your Grandfathers Country Club
The owners wanted a fresh perspective on the interior design for their new club. They hoped to differentiate from other clubs not just in the Greater Chicagoland area, but also other recognized clubs around the country. The centerpiece of Chicago Highlands is a 7,460 yard course comprised of open rolling hills, few trees and that is as fun, challenging and dynamic as any public or private course in all of Chicago. The club had to appeal to families and includes a regulation outdoor skating rink in winter, a total fitness center & Spa, a resort-like swimming pool with winding slide and lazy river, an indoor practice facility, a full service clubhouse with multiple dining options and event space, and an entertainment center featuring 4 bowling lanes.
We looked to what the newer luxury boutique hotels and restaurants were doing to appeal to the similar demographic of the club membership and to attract new members going forward. We visited many other clubs but the inspiration to go beyond the typical clubhouse paradigm ultimately came from hip hotels, restaurants and luxury retailers. We avoided overly designed, traditionally detailed or overly trendy spaces and opted for lighter, tonal palettes and light filled rooms with saturated color accents. We leveraged the windows with great views of the course and set a variety of seating types and groupings that are statements of casual comfort. Spaces were planned to be able to interconnect for large events or be separated for private functions. A large floating bar anchors the main dining space and offers a great social gathering place with dramatic views of both the first tee and 18th green.