Horse Riding Center in Pedras Salgadas
The Equestrian Centre has a rich history linked to the region of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro and to its people’s passion for horses and equestrian sports. It is also the history of one of Europe’s best show jumping fields and its relation with Pedras Salgadas Park at the peak of spa tourism. It is also a history of decline. The Equestrian Centre’s deterioration was gradual but worsened from the 1990s onwards until it seemed irreversible.
Recuperation works began in 2013. Times changed and with them users’ needs. As the modernisation of show business democratised access to events spectators were no longer members of a tiny privileged class. New, international rules for competitions led to an in-depth reformulation. The need to make the Equestrian Centre profitable forced a rethinking of the income-generating model, based on the very short season of jumping competitions. 32 boxes and a riding ring were built.
The new and the existing building endeavour to dialogue between them and the nature around them. The boxes, for instance, are covered in cork panels. Not only is it a native material, but as it grows old cork acquires textures and hues that are similar to the surrounding trees, becoming organically diluted in the landscape. The most iconic example of this invisible architecture is the riding ring. Covered in tree trunks, it appears to have been adopted and embraced by the encompassing vegetation. The trunks, and time, will ensure that it is completely taken over and appropriated by the flora.
2012 - 2015
Vila Pouca de Aguiar, Portugal
Câmara Municipal de Vila Pouca de Aguiar
LuÍs Rebelo de Andrade, Pedro Carta, Patrícia Matos, Marco Marinho, Raquel Jorge
Abílio das Neves, Paulo Pedroso (Águas e Esgotos), proM & E, Building Solutions (Electricidade e Segurança)
FG+SG - Fotografia de Arquitectura