We always worry about the well being of the people who will inhabit the spaces that we design and hope to see built.

To inhabit is to occupy those spaces and to perform the vital functions of comfort, of work or pleasure.

In reality, it is to do with ordering and giving form to functions.

We are functionalists, if only because Architecture has to be functional and so it forces us to be so too.

If not, we’ll be condemned to discomfort, absurdity and eventually ridicule.

The Equestrian Centre located at Cabo do Mundo, Leça da Palmeira, is inhabited by horses and working there, people who love horses.

The challenge, or brief, required the use of timber in the structure and also in the partitions, walls and ceilings.

A timber stable building with two enclosed arenas, a cellar and a social building, also in timber.

Just as in any other project, it is necessary to listen to the clients and hear their requests, requirements and aspirations.

Being unable to talk to the horses, who will be the real inhabitants of the place, I was obliged to engage in dialogue with those who know and work with horses.

Despite having had some experience with and having always loved these gentle beings, I had never looked at this subject from a professional point of view.

When we practice our profession we enter deeply into the lives of the eventual inhabitants and users and get to know them well and intimately. What they like, what they don’t like. This is always the way, as should be the case, irrespective of who these users or habitants are.

The Equestrian Centre is a place where one lives with, for and off the horses.

Everything needs to be about function and comfort.

The need for indoor spaces has to do with protection from the more aggressive aspects of the climate, such as storms, because it isn’t always possible to be outdoors.

The two covered riding arenas, of different sizes, developed into an interesting structural challenge due to the considerably large spans, and this led to some experimentation.

Structure defines space and functions. Structure is both the base and the finish. Structure defines the building because every element is both structure and space.

The equestrian activities extend beyond the indoor areas. The site was molded to create terraces where an external riding arena, paddocks, jumping arenas and riding paths were built.

Very near to the Atlantic, only a glance away.

Gaia 27.11.2014

Carlos Castanheira

Ficha Técnica

Leça da Palmeira, Matosinhos, Portugal

2012 / 2014

Carlos Castanheira
Carlos Castanheira & Clara Bastai, Arqtos Lda.

Orlando Sousa, Fernanda Sá, Joana Catarino, Cátia Carvalho, Pedro Afonso,
Adele Pinna, Sofia Conceição, Inês Bastos, Diana Vasconcelos, Nuno Campos

Structural engineers:
HDP, Gabinete de Serviços e Projectos de Engenharia Civil, Lda.

Hydraulic engineers:
Diâmetro & Cálculo Engenharia Lda.

Lighting and telecomunication:
Igemáci Engenharia, Lda.

Wood construction and Carpentry . Main building:
Carmo Estruturas em Madeira S.A. e Carmo SA.
Carpintaria C.Silva, Lda.
Henriques & Rodrigues, Lda.

Fernando Guerra I FG+SG I ultimasreportagens.com
Equestrian Center
Lugar de Cabo do Mundo – Leça da Palmeira - Matosinhos | 2012 - 2014