2018

MCHAP

Figueras Polo Stables

Juan Ignacio Ramos & Ignacio Ramos

General Rodriguez, Argentina

March 2016

PRIMARY AUTHOR

Ignacio Ramos Juan Ignacio Ramos

CONTRIBUTING AUTHOR

Sofía Ordoñez (Architect) Mercedes Martty (Architect)

AUTHOR

Ignacio Figueras

PHOTOGRAPHER

Daniela Mac Adden Matías Lix Klett

OBJECTIVE

The building, commissioned by professional Polo Player Nacho Figueras, is a stable for polo horses with 44 stalls, an area of 3850 square meters and a length of 180 meters. It’s composed of two long volumes and freestanding walls, which when articulated, create diverse spaces and situations. The floor plan has two parts well distinguished by their functions. One has a more social use and overlooks the polo field, and the other, facing the back of the property, houses work facilities and groom’s quarters. The volumes that face the field are partially hidden behind extended walls and massive planted earth slopes, which not only provide privacy to the stables, but also subtly reduce the building’s impact on the landscape. Only the center of the building is revealed, where a large water pond is located next to the covered exterior terraces and the tack room. The roofs are planted with wild native grasses in an intentional contrast to the perfection of the polo field’s turf. The slopes serve as both, access to the roof and as natural stands from which to observe the polo matches. Water, the universal symbol of life, purity and harmony, is used to connect and articulate these spaces, as well as to create a serene atmosphere. Two basic materials were used for the construction of the whole project: exposed concrete and local hardwoods. These materials were chosen because of their aesthetic properties, low maintenance and beautiful aging.

CONTEXT

This project is located in a distinctive region of Argentina known as “La Pampa”. Pampa is an indigenous word meaning “plains” or “flatland”. Along with its mild climate and fertile soils, the area is ideal for agriculture. When traveling through this area, there is an overwhelming feeling of a never-ending horizontality. The horizon, as in middle of the ocean, becomes a very strong element. The poet Atahualpa Yupanqui refers to the landscape of The Pampas as "serene and pensive”. This project, with its pronounced horizontalism and simplicity of elements, attempts to make a reference to all of these themes.

PERFORMANCE

A very special and intimate connection is forged between the horses and the people who train and take care of them. It has been our aim to design these stables as the space that contains and nurtures that relationship. Social spaces abut grooming and training facilities, combining use-cases within a cohesive aesthetic proposition. The building not only achieved its strictly functional goals, but also serves as an auspicious space for serenity and contemplation. Since its completion, the stables have been fully occupied by horses, trainers, grooms and polo professionals. Numerous polo matches, tournaments and special events have been held at Figueras’ polo grounds. The recognition the building has gained worldwide serves as a platform to promote the sport of polo and the argentine culture.