An uptick in recreational activities prompted the Chatham, N.J. club to give its new facility a full makeover, complete with comfortable surroundings.
With summer in full swing, Fairmount Country Club in Chatham, N.J., is reaping the benefits of its new Timmons House facility, designed to accommodate increasing member interest in sports and other fitness-focused activities.
“The Fairmount Board of Governors recognized the trend in the private-club industry that members want more value and to be able to utilize their club on a year-round basis,” says Chief Operating Officer/General Manager James Gusella, CCM. “When the decision was made to renovate the 50-year-old swimming pool and the associated building, it was decided that a multipurpose facility serving swimming, tennis and the newly added sport of paddle tennis would help the club retain existing members and attract new ones.”
Inside this two-level, 10,000-sq. ft. building, members now have easy access to Fairmount’s pool and paddle courts, along with a variety of dining options and fitness facilities. The Timmons House is the result of a multi-layered design that sought to marry comfortable furnishings (both inside and out) with practicality.
After commissioning Theresa Ogando, principal with Ogando Partners, for interior design of the new facility, Fairmount’s management sought to define the purpose of the new structure as one that doubled as an activity house and as a food-and-beverage outlet. “Using the outdoor activities of the pool and paddle courts, space planning and furniture positions were selected so that views could connect to the activities, without being dominated by their functions,” says Ogando.
Situated on the main floor of this building are a casual bar, indoor dining and an outdoor venue that boasts patio seating overlooking the pool. Indoors, the area is illuminated by a mix of general recessed fixtures with custom-made pendants at the main bar.
Two decorative bent-wood pendants, which Ogando credits for “providing an unexpected piece of sculptural decoration,” are situated over a table that serves as a primary focal point. Positioned between two structural columns, this wooden fixture is fashioned from a walnut slab and detailed with custom-colored resin that Ogando reports “was derived from a palette found in waters near New Zealand.”
The bar itself features a zebrawood laminate front with gray quartz countertop and is complemented by wicker woven stools. In the main dining area, square metal tables with frosted glass tops were selected for their ease of clean-up and ability to be dressed up with linens for nighttime meals.
To create a consistent look throughout the first-floor interior, Ogando chose a neutral color palette accented by black metal windows and Nano walls that open onto the pool on one side and paddle courts on the other. Black and white tile outfits the bar and main dining room, accentuated by a cool gray interior paint scheme.
This look is further enhanced by metallic detailing that makes its way from the bar area to the outdoors, providing a seasonal balance. “The metal-trimmed, contemporary slot fireplace provides a quick warm-up in the cooler days and evenings for paddle tennis players, while the light grays offset by the tile offer a cooling respite from the summer sun for pool-goers,” Ogando notes.
The View From On High
To step up to the second level of the sports complex, a steel-and-wood staircase leads to lounge seating, a wide-screen television and a built-in beverage counter. “The furniture arrangement here creates a more intimate space for conversation, with views to the pool,” Ogando notes.
Open space in the center of the floor can be utilized as needed, touting a flexible layout for anything from kids’ activities to banquet-style dinners. Rounding out this floor is a closed lounge containing a 15-foot interactive golf simulator that is used year-round and during inclement weather.
In high season, landlubbers can relax at the patio overlooking the pool or directly alongside swimmers, in furnishings that Ogando specifically selected to suit the casual, family-friendly vibe. In the patio area, powder-coated aluminum dining tables and chairs are designed to withstand sun, water and chlorine. “The chair bottoms and backs in polyvinyl mesh are comfortable for shorts and swimsuits, allowing for air flow and quick drying,” she notes.
In the pool lounge area, chaise loungers that coordinate with the interior bar stools are paired with aluminum, weather-resistant side tables. Even greater protection from the elements is required at the splash pad, where recycled, plastic-molded Adirondack chairs provide a comfortable respite. In-water loungers are also at the ready for swimsuit-clad sunbathers.
Once the final swim of the season has been completed, all poolside tables, chairs, umbrellas and in-pool loungers will be stowed in a sealed storage container—a necessity for protecting them from harsh Northeast winters. Chaise lounge chairs will be stacked and covered in the pool deck, while the chaise lounge seating pads will be stored indoors and the outdoor couches will be moved to the upper level of the Timmons House.
In the interim, furnishings undergo periodic maintenance with warm, soapy water. “Regular care and cleaning allows us to steer away from the use of harsh chemical cleaners that can harm the finishes on the furniture,” Gusella notes.
Implementing practices like these helps to ensure the longevity for a well-used addition to Fairmount’s amenity mix; Gusella is already enthused by the level and breadth of members’ use of the new facility. “We’re seeing many long-time members take up paddle tennis, and many are utilizing the pool facilities when they hadn’t been to a swimming pool in years,” he says.
Fairmount Country Club
Project: Timmins House multipurpose sports, fitness and dining facility
Master Plan/Architect: Studio JBD and Jefferson Group Architecture
Interior Design: Ogando Partners, Whitehouse Station, N.J.
Lighting: Hubbardton Forge pendants, David Trubridge pendants
Flooring: Daltile porcelain tile, Atlas carpet
Bar table: Shawn Austin Furniture, Fort Worth, Texas
Bar stools: JANUS et Cie
Bar tile: Ann Sacks
Interior dining furniture: JANUS et Cie
Pool lounge area: JANUS et Cie chaise loungers
Pool patio: Tropitone umbrellas
Splash pad: County Line Fence Adirondack chairs
Pool: Ledge Lounger in-water loungers