Equestrian Centre, Russia

Equestrian centre with fitness area, SPA, Dinning hall, Dancing hall and Gentelmen's club, Russia, Project Team: René van Zuuk, Peter Hagelaar, Javier Paz Taibo, Christoph Mettler, Ján Ertl, Client: Undisclosed, Design: 2009-2010, Area: 18.000 m², Volume: 88.000 m³, Building costs: €35.000.000

The location of this project is a plateau on a mountainside of the Russian landscape near Moscow. The assignment comprises of an equestrian centre with sports and leisure facilities, complementary to the property's existing features: an existing summer house, an open ski-ramp which descends the nearby mountain slope, and a soon-to-be-built new house. Since the plot for the new house was already reserved, it was decided that the new equestrian centre should blend not only with the surrounding natural environment but also with the qualities of the new house. This was achieved with two main design moves. Firstly, the building takes the shape of a single fluid form, giving it an organic character. Secondly, the building was made only two-storeys high, with one above ground and one below, exploiting the natural ground inclination. The volume points to the plot of the house, and forms a fluid arc around it, thus creating a courtyard between the two buildings.

The equestrian centre develops around three focal functions: the riding school, the tennis courts, and the fitness centre. These functions were considered ''private'', and are separated by more ''public'' facilities acting as ''joints'', such as a dining room, a dancing hall, and a gentlemen's club. The two-building levels separate the public functions from the private. The sports facilities are located on the ground floor, as this makes riding back and forth to the center more practical. Voids are created in the upper floor to create viewpoints for visitors and spectators.