Aquidneck Club, Portsmouth, Rhode Island

Visit The Aquidneck Club’s website to see more of this beautiful property.

Scope of Project/Services

Built on land leased from Portsmouth Abbey School, the clubhouse and condominiums for the Aquidneck Club (formerly Carnegie Abbey Golf Club) shared a 70,000 sq. ft.  building to include a full clubhouse, lounge, dining hall, locker rooms, outdoor heated swimming pool, and 28 condominiums. The scope included every detail of the project, right down to the design of the lockers in the locker rooms.

Special Requests or Needs of the Client or Job

Both the clubhouse and condominium design were very important to the client, who had long envisioned an elite private golf and sporting club serving as a premiere luxury-living community and resort destination here in New England.

Challenges and Solutions  

Golf and swimming being two distinct activities, the challenge of designing an outdoor swimming pool strategically hidden from the golf course was solved by designing the resort-style pool and deck with a lower elevation. As golfers move about the course, they never see the pool. The sweeping views of Narragansett Bay are part of the landscape for both the golf and swimming pool clientele.

Special or Remarkable Features

There are several truly remarkable features and design elements of note:

1)    The building is constructed of materials built for weathering in the outdoor coastal elements while also reflecting its location in the woods along the shore. The Adirondack-style “rough in the wilderness” is unlike anything else in the area.

2)    As a guest approaches the club through the trees, a beautiful archway built through the entire building frames a spectacular view of Narragansett Bay.

3)    Upon entering the building, the guest walks into a grand two-story lounge with a double-sided fireplace, detailed ceilings and trusswork, and an octagon-shaped bar at the heart of the club.

4)    Each of the 28 condominiums is unique, a product of the unconventional building shape.

5)    The dining hall has a wrap-around screened-in porch facing the 18th hole with panoramic views of the shore nestled against Narragansett Bay.

What We Enjoyed Most About this Project

Spencer McCombe designed and completed the Carnegie Abbey Clubhouse while working at a previous firm, Newport Collaborative Architects, before he founded Cordtsen Design Architecture. Given complete responsibility for every aspect of the project from design straight through construction administration, his love for golf, experimental architecture and detail drove his passion for the entire project. He and his wife Michelle had their wedding reception in the completed clubhouse.  

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