The stables are located at the foothills of the Andes mountains, forming part of an equestrian centre on a three hectare property.
The simple gabled structure is designed to cater for the needs of the horses, providing a calm and and ambient space.
The stables are located close to a training arena on a patch of ground surrounded by native quillayes trees. Designer Matias Zegers grew up riding horses, hence a major focus was directed to the wellbeing of the horses, and catering to their needs. The simple gabled form of the structure can accommodate 14 showjumping horses.
The striking architectural gesture of the project is a long and slender skylight that runs the entire length of the stables, enabling the grooms to work at all times of the day with minimal additional artificial light. The skylight narrows and widens according to use, with a wider opening in the centre where the saddle rooms and showers are. The ends house the stalls, which require a dimmer and more peaceful light.
On either side of the skylights, the interior of the timber gabled roof drops away in a curved sweep, diffusing the light evenly and gently.
Built with a post and beam style construction found in vernacular barns of the area, the stables utilises the open envelope that results from the technique, but with added rigidity from engineered glue-laminated timber.
The engineered structure and walls were prefabricated in a factory in the Chilean city of Los Ángeles, before be transported to site, and erected in 45 days.
The posts and beams hold up the walls and curved roof, while a seperate truss system supported by the ridge beam creates a firm hold for the skylight. The resulting curved timber roof structure is one of complexity and beauty.
The exterior of the barn is foremost designed to become lost in the environment. The client wanted the building to be as unobtrusive as possible- ‘lost to the sight, and the memory’. The simple gabled form that is commonplace in the context helps to ensure it is one amongst many.
Dark stained timber cladding blends with the rich colour of the surrounding soil, whilst the muted metallic roof tiles collaborate with the subtle bowed roof form to minimise the visual bulk. The tiles shimmer slightly during the day, flickering between different hues of satin-bronze.
The timber lined roof profile helps soften the light from the skylight, and provides a nurturing counterpart to the complexity of structural members.
Both ends of the structure have large unobstructed openings to the exterior, creating a welcoming transition into the internal world. This transition is furthered by the warmth of the light timber interior, which provides a stark counterpoint to the dark, rich exterior colour.