Equestrian Centre, Merricks by Seth Stein Architects (London) in association with Watson Architecture + Design (Melbourne)
Commercial Architecture: National Commendation
Australian Institute of Architects
Equestrian Centre at Merricks on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula successfully expresses the client’s dedication to the development of specialized skills associated with breeding, caring for and training pedigree eventing horses. Beautiful siting, impressive detail precision, a simple but rich materials palette and seamless construction engineering create a supportive environment for the presentation and training of eventing horses and their day-to-day care.
The gently curved building is anchored into its site by massive rammed earth walls, which turn the building’s southern back to face the weather. The composition includes a graceful, curving zinc-clad roof (with not a single penetration), a water fountain and pool (that is a respectful nod to Luis Barragán’s masterwork), and meticulous detailing of the timber framing and spotted gum cladding. Walking into these grounds, one is immediately aware of the prestige associated with the sport and the calibre of the horses that reside here. This is a commendable example of architecture that presents equine business in such a sophisticated and elegant light.