Sports facilities

Ultzama. Navarra

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Classic Dressage High-Performance Equestrian Centre

Mangado & Asociados. Francisco José Mangado Beloqui

FAD Awards finalist 2009  Architecture
Description Technical file

Two volumes dedicated to the practice of classic dressage, grouped into a twinning of powerful volumetry, are integrated into the leafy landscape of the Robledales de Ultzama oak woods, in the northern part of Navarre.

Reflecting on the clarity and architectural power demonstrated by the adjacent settlements gives shape to the nucleus of this project’s programme. Beyond the materials or particular expressive configurations, it has been this principle, that of a clear volumetry as a way of connecting with the surroundings, that inspires the proposal. A clarity that invades not only the external manifestation but also the structural and constructional organisation of the buildings, reinforcing the argument behind the fundamental decision that all the uses, regardless of their size, must appear to be gathered into and configured by these single and total volumes, in turn coherent with the idea of clarity and forcefulness. In this way, the houses for the people who work and train at the complex are not differentiated from the almost farm-like volumetry defined for the training paddocks and stables.

The materials play an important role in this project. The substitution of the habitual, tense, rendered and white-painted walls of the farmhouses and livestock yards by aluminium-coloured sheet metal leads, in combination with the oak wood used in both the frames and in the interiors, cladding and flooring, to a play of great expressive value. In general, the use of the materials is accompanied by the intention of giving a contemporary touch to the traditional solutions present in the surroundings. In this sense, the manipulation of the oak wood taken from large sections of their own sustainable forests is limited, as in the case of the large pieces that bridge some of the existing unevennesses, to simple volumetric cuts in tree trunks, a fundamental aspect in the material reading of the complex.

A large elongated volume contains the stables and the dwellings of the guards and workers. The roof is the same, sloped to accommodate the greater height required by the second use. This is the spot chosen to configure the main entrance to the complex. In parallel, a new volume connected perpendicularly to the first one contains the Olympic-size training paddock as well as the owners’ dwelling, plus a lounge and training area for riders and trainers. Thus, the lounges afford direct views of both the indoor and outdoor paddocks.

The project for the landscaping basically follows the guidelines of the parcelling found in the valley. Oak hedgerows divide the lots, configuring longitudinal meadows that more or less follow a line that runs perpendicular to the river Ultzama.

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Situación: Zenotz, Valle de la Ultzama. Navarra. Autor: Francisco José Mangado Beloqui, arquitecto. Dirección de obra: Francisco José Mangado Beloqui. Colaboradores: David Martínez Grande, Janka Rust, César Martín Gómez, arquitectos, y Pedro Legarreta, arquitecto técnico. Fotografía: Roland Halbe y Pedro Pegenaute
Francisco José Mangado Beloquí
Pamplona, Navarra
Mangado y Asociados

Roland Halbe
Stuttgart, Alemania
Pedro Pegenaute