The Kensington Golf & Country Club in Naples, Fla., is not the sort of place to scrimp—on anything. The 370-acre (148ha) complex, located in the heart of this southwestern Florida city, boasts a par-71 course designed by renowned golf course designer Robert Trent Jones, Jr., a 2,700m2 clubhouse and seven clay tennis courts on the side. Given this unstinting effort, it seems appropriate that the club would want to personalize what might ordinarily be an out-of-box retractable awning slapped onto the side of its building.
Although the clubhouse had marvelous dining facilities with spectacular views of the greens and nearby Gulf, intense sunlight prevented outdoor dining on a second-level balcony flanking the main dining. Awning fabricator Sunmaster of Naples worked closely with the architects of the clubhouse, McWard Architects Inc. (McW), Naples, to modify the Sunesta™ motorized retractable awnings blend with the architecture. Rather than accept the limitations of as-is product, Sunmaster collaborated with architects Will Ward and Jan McBride Ward of McW to create a green and tan 40cm-wide stripe pattern that was much broader than normally offered by the fabric supplier. Awnings extend the full 18m width of the balcony, three awnings end-for-end in a 7m–3.6m–7m arrangement with no gaps between. When fully extended, the “lateral-arm” retractables reach about 3m out from the façade to create about 55m2 of additional much-needed outdoor shaded dining. To minimize flapping of the valences (the short fabric extensions that hang from the front edge) due to the strong Naples coastal winds, Sunmaster made the valences of double thick fabric. The finished project has been a hit with patrons and management alike.