Winner: 2008 Construction Excellence Awards: Silver (Acoustical Solutions, West Region)

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Ceilings at the Indian Wells Golf Resort Club House Call for Special Design Treatment and Construction

The clubhouse at the Indian Wells Golf Resort — new and bold — is the centerpiece of the City of Indian Wells, CA. The 53,000 square-foot building has a grand lobby, upscale dining rooms, a golf shop, bars and grills and access to the only 36-hole facility in California with both courses ranked in the Top 20 "Best Courses You Can Play" by Golfweek.

Orlando McLin, Project Manager at Douglas Fredrikson Architects, Phoenix, AZ, says the clubhouse design is a desert modern style with sandstone walls, large expanses of glass, a metal roof, limestone and granite accents and stainless steel detailing. Capping the design are six specialty ceilings, totaling 12,000 square feet, with panels manufactured by 9Wood Inc., Springfield, OR, technical constructability coordinated by Architectural Material Resources, Irvine, CA, and installation by Elljay Acoustics, Inc., Placentia, CA.

"This project is truly one-of-a-kind," says Ron Bishop, President of Elljay Acoustics. “We've never seen anything like these ceilings, or installed anything even close to them." “One day, I got a call from the general contractor, Barnhart. They wanted us to attend a meeting with the design team on an exciting project," Bishop says. “We found some unique ceiling designs that would require a focused and collaborative effort to build. So, I called upon Greg Hollowaty, who is Principle of Architectural Material Resources, and said, 'I need you and 9Wood in the middle of this.' Within several months, our efforts went from the architect's illustrated design concept to shop drawings."

It wasn't easy given the complexity of the ceiling designs. For example, take the clubhouse lobby. “We wanted a dynamic design that suggested movement and motion," says interior designer Ann Motokane, President of Emiko Design, Inc., Denver, CO. “We also wanted a terminus for the design — that being the lounge area at the Café Bar. The ceilings suggest movement toward that space."

The result? A spiral ceiling with varying elevations and a unique finish. “The first finish board we saw from the designer had a ¼" thick piece of leather on a panel," Bishop says. “We explored ways to build that, but couldn't come up with anything that would fit their budget or work properly. That's when we came up with the faux suede panel."

To build the lobby ceilings, 9Wood designed a torsionspring wood tile system with 3/4" fire-rated MDF cores — each with factory pre-drilled location holes. Architectural Materials Resources arranged for an upholsterer to wrap the MDF with faux suede.

The Bar & Grill also illustrates the complexity of the project — a multi-wood tiered ceiling. “Our original concept was a blossoming flower," Motokane says. “Each layer of the flower is a different material to give it depth and interest. It starts low in the center and lifts up towards the perimeter of the ceiling to draw your eye outwards towards the incredible view."

In the Bar & Grill, 9Wood designed a direct-attach, dual-layered, wood tile ceiling system with two kinds of wood species — quarter-sliced bookmatched cherry veneer and quarter-sliced bookmatched lacewood veneer — applied to ¾" fire-rated particleboard cores with matching edge-banding.

“We bought all of our veneers at one time," says Bill Miller, 9Wood Project Manager. “We ended up getting most of them out of the same flitches. So, our materials matched throughout the building." Miller said his design draftsperson worked closely with Elljay's field crews. “We had all-thread rods dropping down to hit precise panel locations. With the panels tilted, we had to cut holes on angles," Miller says. “The holes and rods had to line up."

Collaboration was Key

“We had vendors help us with the CNC work, which created an extra load on our drafting department to supply drawings both in CAD 2000, which is their CNC program language, and our normal drawings," Miller says. “We had, I believe, three CNC specialists working on the project at the same time."

A challenging problem arose when 9Wood received field-verified dimensions back from the jobsite that were different than the shop drawings. “As time was of the essence, we had to move quickly and think creatively," Miller says. “We had to redraw those three ceilings and reissue them to our CNC specialists." Fortunately, the CNC specialists had not yet begun cutting the wood.

Due to the exacting demands of the ceiling components, it was imperative that in-field measurement be done regularly during construction. This led to a perfect fit, making the ceilings a “signature of the interiors," says Douglas Fredrikson, AIA, President of Douglas Fredrikson Architects.

In the end, all ceiling installations met the design team's specifications and, in some ways, set new precedents. “This project forced the general and his subcontractors to collaborate in a manner outside of the normal process of construction," McLin says. Yes, innovation and strong teamwork led to success.

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