Project: Saudi Arabia Equestrian Club
Location: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Size: 110,000 m2
Partners: Juan Ignacio Ramos & Ignacio Ramos
Located in a valley of exceptional beauty, surrounded by impressive mountains and a singular ecosystem, the site of the Royal Diriyah Equestrian and Polo Club challenged us to create a unique equestrian experience through an architecture that would relate to it in a subtle and respectful way. The project offers an integrated design that addresses architecture, urban planning, equine needs and sustainability issues.
The first step was to fit an extensive architectural program into an area restricted by its size, shape and topography. The magnitude of the construction made us think of different strategies to make the architecture less disruptive to the surrounding landscape. We created horizontal organic reticules that adapt their shape to the contour of the land and undulating earth berms that surround them. With the exception of the clubhouse, which stands out as the symbolic accent of the project, the buildings are conceived to minimize their visual impact with gentle and almost silent gestures.
The design pays tribute to the traditional Najdi architecture through the use of typical elements such as courtyards, massive walls and screens to filter the natural light. Shade is a fundamental element in the project. The iconic Arabic calligraphy and patterns have been another important source of inspiration. Our purpose was to embrace Saudi Arabia’s culture and traditions and understand its geography, climate and natural landscape. The intention is to bring our expertise and experience to create a world-class facility that will attract riders and horse lovers from around the globe and host the most important and prestigious international competitions.