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Article. (En)

A horse in your window.

In general, the equestrian architecture and the contemporary architecture have had an unlike advance. The contemporary architecture does not stop advancing, being reinvented. It is a totally current architecture. Nevertheless, the equestrian architecture tends to be traditional. There exists a mentality that relates the equestrian world to the ranches, to the ancient wood, robust wood, to the field, in conclusion, to the traditional architectures of stables.

What I propose with this research is to mix both architectures in order to bring them over to this contemporary world, in which it is not stopped looking for the innovation, and to collaborate this way in the option to distance the equestrian architecture of the traditional typology.

This research will develop taking into account a great number of factors like, the quality of the environment and the emplacement of the project, the arrangement of the architectures in a certain place, the typology of both architectures in relation to the stables, the form of how to treat and choose the materiality, Relying on the necessary requirements as the own interest, the relation of the building with the environment, among others. Using a methodology of geometric analysis; analysis of weaknesses or benefits of certain stables, environments, emplacements; developing necessary requirements departing from surveys experts in stables and daily users of them, or defined by the own user. It is necessary to emphasize that I have worked leaving of side certain activities and services that might happen in the above mentioned plot of the project recounted only to the daily life of the user, because to what I have given importance it is to the relation of the daily life of the user with the equine one. Also I must emphasize that the project developed after the research is for a concrete user, opening the possibility of changes if one wanted to focus the project on other users.

-A horse in the City.

“La forme d'une ville change plus vite, que les désirs du coeur humain.” –  Charles Baudelaire

“The form of a city changes more rapidly, that the desires of the human heart.” –  Charles Baudelaire

The cities do not stop growing. Two hundred years ago, only there was a city in the world with more than one million inhabitants, London. Nowadays there are approximately two hundred eighty cities with population bigger than a million. As we know, the cities have existed for thousands of years, nevertheless after the Industrial Revolution the urban growth has turned a global phenomenon. One of the reasons is for the “Rural - urban” migration, being the city this world of promises and opportunities, especially when it is in a stage of economic prosperity. Nevertheless, the urban life and the rural life have his own benefits and disadvantages.

The growth of the cities has been parallel to the transformation of the natural environment, which is filling with constructions and favorable systems for the fitting out of the exchange, the elaboration of raw materials and of products, as well as for the social meeting.

According to the town planners, in the 19th century it is the third stadium of the urbanization; in both previous ones still there was a balance among the human work and the nature; nevertheless, from the 19th century the things change completely.

If we speak about the pace of the city, naturally, it is much faster than the pace of a rural environment. The cultural exchange, the incredible variety of services, of public and private transport, of employments, the tourist interest, but also the stress, the pollution, which can ultimately affect the well-being of the person. This pace, in certain way, can cause the chaos. This feeling of disorder, burden, impotence at the moment of wanting to choose a way and not to be able to do it, disability to assume, or at least to perceive in its entirety, the eventful concepts, with uncertainty. Feeling that is given in day after day of some persons and more often in a big city, but, nevertheless, it can like you or to be very negative.

This is just one way of seeing the city, knowing that the man tends to face the way to dominate it and to be able to survive in it. Though the question, for someone who likes this way of life, is how to live in the chaos without feeling it at all time? It is necessary to find the perfect place, or at least the one that more near your expectations is. For these persons those who like the nature but in addition they need the life in the city, already be for work or not, find a place adapted inside a great city can be complicated. And it can be more complicated when you want to include horses in your day after day. Due to the fact that one of the initial conditions of the project, which develops after my research, is that the users are architects, who in their professional lives take charge of the design and direct teams of work and in their personal lives are lovers of the horses and the art of the riding. For my users it is necessary to be in direct contact with a big city, since Madrid, where they give classes in universities and have their office.

- The importance of choosing the place. The first thing is that it could, the second thing that is a place of opportunities.

The question is to find a zone that one adapts to your interests and to the restrictions that it carries to have a stable in your plot. Being important also the well-being of the own animal. Both in half of the mount and in an isolated plain, in a small village or in the suburbs of the city, the principal thing is that it is suitable to construct a stable.

In an area without constructing, the buyer must check the in force regulation and to insure himself that all the rules are fulfilled. But you must be more careful with the areas in those who have been had, or that continues having, a few equine facilities. The sellers of these already built plots, can assure you that the plot is totally adapted to the laws, ordinances and restrictions that it might apply to its. Nevertheless, in most cases, the laws change becoming stricter in some points.  To the buyer, if he is new in the plot and wants to reconstruct a stable or equine facility to his taste, these restrictions become to the buyer in force for him and it is possible that he could not return to build or use facilities of this type. Turning the plot in inappropriately for our intentions and requirements. Therefore, before the buy of a plot you must be informed well that this plot should fulfill the laws and restrictions that will allow you, or not, to be able to have a stable. It is very important that you remember the one big thing, subdivision dreams - had put. The place that more you like possibly will never be the most suitable.

Other one of the requirements obtained from a few surveys realized to owners of horses, is that the plot has an environment that favors the possible maximum thing to the horse and to the user, where, the horse does not feel oppressed, not stressed whenever it has to go out of home. A place with nearby places where to walk, to ride, without risk for both.

Bearing in mind not only the user, also his form of life and those around him, the need to find a calm place surrounded with nature, is one of the reasons by which the emplacement of the project was chosen. Located in Madrid, Spain, between Fuencarral and Pardo. A place to few meters of the city but also removed from the abundant traffic and from the noise, with extensive zones of vegetation. An environment of great natural wealth, where to be able to walk calmly and enjoy the riding. It is an extensive and sunny plot, of 5500 m2, calm and scarcely crowded. Suitable place to enjoy listening to the sound of the nature. Its agreeable neighborhood is remarkable, in which, some of them already have the charming company of horses in their plots.

Others of the reasons that make this place perfect it is the fulfillment of the regulation, in this case the norm BOE, applied to this place on the distance of the stable to certain important factors. A stable might not be had in mentioned plot if there was not fulfilled a minimal distance of two hundred meters by another equine exploitation, of hundred meters by the thoroughfares, as the highways and routes of railroad, and of twenty-five meters by any other route except for the access to the plot. And since I have said, the only route near to the plot is very slightly crowded and it does not enter to the radius of hundred meters.

- Houses exist, stables exist, houses with stables exist and even stable´s house exist.

As soon as you have the plot, it is necessary to design the approximate distribution of the plot and its architectures.  It is necessary too to bear in mind that the facilities (water, light, etc.) be correctly. In this point it is when I consider one of the principal problems on what it would be better, the stable next to the house or as extension of the housing, or far to gain independence between both buildings, due to its different uses, and simultaneously creating tours inside the plot? This one is one of the questions that I realized in the surveys, of which I obtained diverse answers like “I prefer having the isolated stables, for topics of hygiene and noises; nevertheless, neither very far, that is a distance of 5 minutes afoot and that it does not need car to come” (Elenadulcesmile, recent visitor, 2014, en www.laequitació, or “For my […] we would go on to the zone of the horses, being closely together of the housing, you would be late 40 seconds in coming, but the animals put inside house are not either, are animal with everything what it carries” (Pikachu, veteran visitor, 2014, en www.laequitació

Analyzing all the answers, I came to the conclusion of which the stable must be distant from the housing, emphasizing the relation that is given between both inside the plot, possible tours or obstacles that would make the way interesting and enjoying the advantages of an isolated stable, without smells, without unwanted noises. Providing to the housing and to the stable, the importance that each one deserves.

- Typology and materiality. “Horse barn”

Getting into the design of the stable, it is necessary to analyze first existing stables of the traditional and contemporary typologies. For it I chose five stables, which I thought that they were of traditional typology, five of contemporary typology and two special cases. They are special, not only because their architects are throughout the world recognized, but because they were constructed on 1950-1970. Nevertheless their typologies in that epoch were at the vanguard and the innovation. It is for this that, nowadays still almost contemporary stables could be considered, totally out of the traditional architecture.

I analyzed principally the geometry and the distribution of uses and stay so much inside like in the surroundings of the stables, the capacity of each one of them, and the form of ventilation. Some stables belong to Riding Centre, to particular houses and others to stables of breeding-places and trade with horses. Also I saw necessarily to analyze the materiality of each one of them, choosing the most characteristic materials.

The first five stables are of traditional typology. The first one (1) belongs to Shope Reno Wharton Architecture. Located in the state of Colorado, United States. It is a particular stable, with four boxes, of geometry of rectangular ground plan and a gabled roof, with two big accesses that give to a corridor that divides in two the stable and a third access, smaller, to one of the ends of the stable. As for its materiality, it is necessary to emphasize the use of the exterior coating of natural stone in the principal access. The carpentries, structure of the roof and the interiors are exclusively of wood, which give the rustic aspect of the stable. If we concentrate on the ventilation, it uses two chimneys of ventilation and two big large windows in the top part. 

The following one (2) belongs to Pegasus, Design Group. Placed near Boulder, Colorado, United States. It is a multidisciplinary private stable, with six boxes, of geometry of the shape of “L” ground plan, both sides symmetrical and separated by other stay. The roof has an alone inclination. The accesses come defined by the longitudinal corridors, being both principal ones to the ends and other four secondary ones to the other stay and to the convex zone of the “L”. The principal material is the wood, is used so much in interiors as exteriors and structurally. The ventilation is given from the windows that exist in the top part of the facade. 

The third stable (3) is of Old Town Barns. It is a Riding Centre with twelve boxes, of geometry similar to the first stable. Rectangular ground plan, with a longitudinal but different corridor in the central side. With two principal doors to every side of the corridor. Every box has its own door. It has gabled roof, with a change of orientation in the center. The materiality centres also on the wood, being of this material all the coatings, interiors and exteriors, the structures and the carpentries. As for the ventilation, it is given from three skylights placed in the ridge of the roofs. 

The fourth stable (4) is of the same ones that the previous one, Old Town Barns. In this case, it is a particular stable, of smaller dimensions, with seven boxes. The geometry of plan is almost identical, with the exception of which not all the stables have its own door. The roof, this time changes a bit, is gabled roof but in one of the ends, the inclination diminishes, creating the sensation of an extension in the stable. Since in the previous case, the stable is composed of wood, though this time, with more rustic and less treated wood. The ventilation also coincides, but having an alone skylight. 

The fifth stable (5) belongs to Bonterra, Design and Consulting. Located in Whitesboro, Texas, United States. It is a particular stable with eight boxes. Its geometry of plan is symmetrical, with an inclination of 120 degrees with regard to the vertical one. All the boxes have own door. The corridor is not covered but not closed providing this way to all the boxes of the maximum ventilation. The central zone is reserved for the store of food and other uses. The roof is gabled with the position of the central reversed part. The carpentries and the structure of the stable and of the roof are of wood. 

The stable number six (6) is the first special case. It belongs to los Clubes, of the architect Luis Barragán. Located in Atizapán of Zaragoza, Mexico City, Mexico. It is a big complex constructed in 1969, with influence of the architecture Le Corbusier. It is considered to a classic one of the architecture. The geometry is of rectangular ground plan, contains twelve boxes, each one with own door on the outside. It has two roofed but not closed corridors. The roof is gabled with a discontinuity for the ventilation. The materiality of the facade and the interiors are of wall of bricks re-dressed with I white plaster. The structure is of concrete and only there is the presence of wood in the carpentries. 

With the stable number seven (7) I begin with the contemporary typology. It is of Blackburn, is a private stable. Placed in Woodside, California, United States. It has seven boxes, the geometry is of rectangular ground plan and it divides in two modules. Every box has its own door and the corridor is like in the stable five, covered but not closed. Its roof is very singular due to the fact that a part is curved and another plane doing a discontinuity between them, allowing the ventilation on the top part. All its structure and facade are composed by wood. 

The following stable (8) belongs to the architects Vicenç Sarrablo y Jaume Colom. It is an Riding Centre call La Llena located in La Llacuna, Barcelona, Spain. They are a few big facilities, in which I centre on the stables. It is of rectangular geometry, with a transverse corridor and two big accesses. It contains eight boxes. In the top part there was done the extension, which is dedicated to the housing. The closings are done of hollow wall re-dressed by a painting. The carpentries and the interiors are of wood. The ventilation is given from the windows that every stall has on the outside, does not have top ventilation. 

The stable number nine (9) is a Pesebrera called Los Leones, of Paul Lamarca and Tomás Swett. In Fundo Los Leones, Osorno Décima Región, Chile. They are a few Pesebreras for Friesian horses. There are eight modular boxes with geometry of rectangular ground plan. The most prominent characteristic is the geometry of its roof that is alike square sloping way. The top parts of the boxes are opened. The structure and the facade are of wood of pine. 

The tenth stable (10) is APT’s equestrian center, architecture for all, placed in Cuernavaca, Mexico. The stable is composed by two symmetrical modules faced eight boxes each one. Every box has its own door. The roof is flat, of concrete, and on having been raised by a few metallic profiles, gives the sensation of which this floating on the stables. The stables are done of wood. The ventilation is very good since the boxes are opened overhead. 

The last contemporary stable (11) is La Caballeriza la Solana, of Nicolás Pinto Da Mota. Located in Soriano, Uruguay. This stable is an extension in a breeding-place of Creole horses, relies on eight boxes. The geometry of plan is rectangular with the transverse corridor that leads to both big accesses of the stable. The roof is hipped, with a very low inclination. The most prominent thing is the materiality, since the whole facade and walls are realized by bricks of concrete in natural condition. The carpentries and the structure of the roof are of wood; nevertheless the interior coatings are composed by walls and aluminium doors. As for the ventilation, it is given by two of the corners of the stable where free hollows have been left in the front of bricks of concrete. It does not have top ventilation. 

The stable number twelve (12), it is the second special case. It is of Auldbrass complex of Frank Lloyd Wright located in Yemassee, south of Carolina, United States. Built in 1951. It is a very particular complex, due to the fact that this one designed everything with a hexagonal chart. In the zone of the stable it is possible to see that the facades are not vertical, but they are inclined and the roof are not alone gabled roof, but they suffer modifications that deforming the geometry and the perpendicularity of the architecture. The plan is rectangular and contains seven boxes, all with its door on the outside. The stable is of wood, with metallic structure with ended of oxide. They are very well drafty. 

After this extensive typological analysis and materiality analysis, I have come to some conclusions to do my own contemporary stable. Square or rectangular bboxes, with a minimal size of three for three meters, rectangular plan, and wide ventilation. Adding my own personal experience, especially in certain lacks that I could have observed, that they are given in the majority of the analyzed stables. As the relation of the user with the horse inside the stable. Not to see to the horse behind the wall, but to feel its nearness across the transparency, as if the barrier did not exist.

The stable that I propose is of rectangular plan, with five boxes and a store. The door of access will be sliding, of wood and will give the option to open the interior space on the outside. The regulation establishes the void existence of salient elements inside the boxes, since they could harm and damage the horses. This is other of the reasons for which all the doors of the stable, except that of the store, which will not have any access for equine, are sliding. Every box has its own window on the outside and a few overtures in the partitions in the shape of a quarter of circle that you find between them. They are interior spaces protected with rods in order which the equine ones could interact between them, turn, to suspect, but nevertheless, could not be bitten not even to be does not even damage. This helps them not feel in certain such alone moments. Both the doors, and the windows and these perforations of quarter of circle, they do that the stable already is not a closed box, in spite of having a rectangular geometry in plan.

The geometry of its roof comes given across the search of the optimization of the ventilation and natural lighting that the stable must have. It is very important for the horse to live in a drafty well, and calm place. It is composed by curved wood beams inserted in both directions and covered only in the exterior zones by sandwich panel of steel, allowing the placement of a top large window that improves notably these conditions of ventilation and lighting. I use the curved wood to break with the necessary ortogonalidad of the stable, and to be able like that to open more the interior space. Other one of the reasons is the possibility of continuing with the cover so that externally it could protect of the direct incident of the Sun in the windows of the boxes.

On the other hand, the materiality of the pavement of the boxes is of vanguard and totally ecologically since it is a recycled rubber. This pavement can be obtained of diverse colors and geometries, in case of the project I use the cobbles of rubber of dark brown color for the corridor between boxes, and for the interior of the boxes I pave of fifteen for fifteen centimeters of gray color. This type of pavement allows to filter the residues and to lead them to the sinks, in addition they are very easy to clean and comfortable for the bed of the horse, so that it helps very positively to the hygiene of the horses and the boxes. I have chosen in addition this material because according to the surveys realized to experts, it is one of the best pavements for them, as were saying to us some of the polled ones, “ The plates of rubber of the floor of the stable […] are used because it is a less abrasive and more comfortable floor for the animal when it lies down, making more difficult that the famous frictions appear in hocks and knees if the horse is a bit brute or has bed small. ” (Nakuru, veteran visitor, 2014, in www.laequitació

-Your underground house.

The architecture of the housing is purely of personal interest. Basing on references that I consider to be very interesting on the underground houses. It is a form of sustainability, which centres on cooling the houses of a natural way, across the conductive cooling, or what is in the habit of be call a basic beginning of isolation by means of land. Since we know, the area is to a constant temperature thanks to the great mass of the land and the variations of temperature of the area are minimal. For what the intention is that the area supports our house to an average temperature all the year round. Other one of the interests is the possibility of having a passable garden roof that is adjusted in the possible thing against the area so that it is constant. 
I investigated the typology, the materiality and the basic reasonings of several underground houses, between them, the most prominent two are Cooper Point House de Mickey Muenning y Casa en Pembrokeshirede de Future Systems en Gales.

After the research I projected my own geometry of buried housing. It is a question of a housing of two very wide floors. In one of the floors there looks a diaphanous, free floor, excluding the need of pillars, but in turn that this roof could be passable and to adapt easily to the area. The utilization of a half-buried house allows us this adaptability and a reduction of the visual impact so much from the exterior of the plot as from up. These requirements led to the search of a pure geometry for the resolution of the structure of the roof, which after a structural investigation one concluded that the best option would be a dome of four tops. This type of roof allows us to turn all the tensions aside to four ends avoiding this way the utilization of pillars and allowing us changes of heights in the floor, providing the space of dynamism and extent. And giving, in addition, this sensation that the high ceilings produce. In spite of the fact that the majority of the decoration of walls and pavements is white, this dome leaves sight itself to break out and to stand out with the created setting.

The principal disadvantage of the buried houses is the lighting. In this project the exposed space has been optimized to the maximum creating like that this curved main face, increasing the natural incidental lighting in the housing. The distribution of the housing is ruled by its use, leaving in the first silver the places deprived as the rooms or the offices, which have their own accesses in order not to interrupt the private life of the home, and granting the whole second floor to the most public spaces, since it are the kitchen and the hall. This second floor has also its own access, and both facades are glazed allowing the perfect lighting about which we were speaking. The principal innovation of the materiality of the house they are their facades of glass. Since it is not a common glass, but of a combination of changeable glasses. The electrolytic glass is a laminated glass that has a system of solar control that allows reducing up to five per cent the transmission of ultraviolet beams, so that they get dark glasses. The electrochromic glass is other laminated glass, which allows that this dimness should be of any color that dese. And the safety glass is a laminated glass that by means of an electrical impulse changes of being transparent to being opaque. These three glasses combine in an alone glass laminated of which our facades are composed to open the possibility of interacting totally with the light to increase the well-being and the privacy.

- Distribution of the plot.

Once designed both architectures, it is time to put them correctly in the plot. The plot has a peculiar geometry to the one that must adapt the house and the stable. Across the disposition of both buildings it is a question of finding the perfect harmony between them. The house and the stable must interact so much interior as externally, though not of direct form. This interaction has been given across the possible tours.

The main facade of the house is inclined lightly towards the west making possible that from the access of the plot could pass over it to come to another part of the plot where there is a swimming pool.

Nevertheless, to come to the stable from the exterior it seems that the house is left of side, though really  it is necessary to pass ahead from it and to cross small
woodland that locates between both architectures. To the west extreme of the plot it finds the stable, the calmest place of the plot since not even the way that takes her approaches this zone, since we could see in the site plan.” “Neutrality and a certain lack of protagonism lend to the building the possibility of talking and establishing a wise relation with the place…” Said Nicolás Pinto Da Mota in reference to the Caballeriza La Solana. And in my project this phrase has taken great importance due to the fact that it is a clear description of the emplacement and the intention of the stable.

Since we could have seen along this article, this mixing between the equine architecture and the contemporary architecture can move away from the traditional typology of different manners. It is a question of doing a combination between your interests or your information of item and what is considered to be the equine contemporary architecture. Being able to define infinity like that of the unique projects that might follow this line of working.

- Bibliographical references.

AA. Blog. (

APT. Arquitectura Para Todos. Equestrian Center. 2011. (

Barragán, Luis. Los clubes. Cuadra San Cristobal y Fuente de los Amantes. 1964. (

Blackburn, John A. Private farm. Blackburn Architects. 2014. (

Colom, Jaume. Serrablo, Vicenç. 2014. Ridding Center La Llacuna. (

Gralla, Stan W. Oldaker, Lachlan. Collaborators. GH2, Gralla Equine Architects. 2014. (

Lamarca, Pablo. Sweet, Tomas. Pesebrera Los Leones. 2008. (

Lloyd Wright, Frank. Auldbrass Complex. 1951.

Looker, Dana. Actual president. Lukas Equine Equipment. (

Matt, Acebo. Wyatt, JJ. Waldford, Glynnie. Smith, Graham. Hamilton, Jim. Sorenson, Mike. Pegasus Design Group. (

Miller, Janet G. 2010. The Reality of Building A Horse Barn and Farm.

Muro Arledge,Dorian. BonTerra Design & Consulting. (

Pinto Da Mota, Nicolas. Caballeriza La Solana. 2013. (

Sarah Christie. 2003. Build a Better Barn for Your Farm. Hobby Farms magazine. (

Staff & Collaborators. Shope Reno Wharton Architecture.  (

Zublin, Dave. Old Town Barns. (