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Polish horses get the Smithson treatment with new riding hall

Words:
Jan-Carlos Kucharek

Wiercinski Studio brings style to new stables on a farm west of Warsaw with a severe concrete aesthetic and sophisticated take on sawtooth roofs

Credit: ONI Studio/ Wiercinski Studio

What Christmas series would be complete without a stable? Adam Wiercinski and Borys Wrzeszcz of Poland’s Wiercinski Studio have recently completed a new riding hall, stable and ancillary facilities for Ludwiczak Stables in the village of Jaroszewo near Poznan, around 150 miles west of capital Warsaw. But there’s less of the ‘blacksmith’ and more of the ‘Smithson’ to its severe concrete aesthetic, expressed as a raw grid with infill blockwork, and polycarbonate panels forming the clerestory lighting, a crisply detailed iteration of the sawtooth roofs of modern farm buildings.

  • Credit: ONI Studio/ Wiercinski Studio
  • Credit: ONI Studio/ Wiercinski Studio
  • Credit: ONI Studio/ Wiercinski Studio
  • Credit: ONI Studio/ Wiercinski Studio
  • Credit: ONI Studio/ Wiercinski Studio
  • Credit: ONI Studio/ Wiercinski Studio
  • Credit: ONI Studio/ Wiercinski Studio
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The 2240m2 building has been inserted into a site with existing stable buildings, the considered ‘tuck in’ of the square plan acknowledging their proximity by moving in to embrace them. With main riding hall doors situated centrally between the existing pair, they form a delicate trinity, where one nods to the other almost imperceptibly.

The cavernous riding hall’s monopitch is appended by a lower lean-to that emulates the scale of the other two structures. This contains 18 horse stalls, stores, tack room, mezzanine-level viewing balcony and a kitchen/social area whose centrepiece is a large wood-burning stove – a warming foil to the building’s otherwise starkly uninsulated nature. This is evidenced too in closeable external windows for stable stalls, as well as the inviting tactility of timber stable doors nestled into the blockwork, offering comfort to horses as well as humans.

  • Credit: Wiercinski Studio
  • Credit: Wiercinski Studio
  • Credit: Wiercinski Studio
  • Credit: Wiercinski Studio
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The freezing conditions of the riding hall in winter are writ large in the choice of the roof structure, with massive glulam timber beams spanning its full width to carry the profile aluminium roof. Sitting on rebated columns, beams increase in depth towards the mid-span, working subtly to compress the large volume. In this context of formal and Baltic hardness, it’s the architectonic equivalent of a mare’s bulging sorrel belly, cossetting a young foal beneath in velvety, equestrian warmth.  

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