As both an architecture and equestrian fanatic, I can not help but unabashedly love this ranch in Santa Fe designed by famous Japanese architect Tadao Ando for equally famous fashion icon Tom Ford (Ford and the fact that these photos were taken by Guido Mocafico for Vogue Paris adds the fashion element to this post, another thing I adore, so this barn really is my kinda thing...).
The entire concept is all about precisely placed walls and the extremes of light and shadow/dark, something the architect is known for in all of his projects. It is powerfully articulated here as well, orchestrating both the natural and the man-made, as well as the horses, the natural colors of the surroundings, and the architectural, geometrical elements.
Why not have a horse barn look like this? If you can afford it, I don´t see a reason why it shouldn´t. In any case, I wonder why for centuries, horse stables and barns have looked the same and the concept behind them has never changed. The very stubborn and fixed idea of how specific typologies of buildings, such as in this case a stable, should look like, is to a certain extend rebelled against in this project, which I completely agree with. I feel like people often react quite negatively towards unknown architecture such as this, where there is a fixed image of how it "should" look stuck in one´s mind. They are just not used to it any other way. Why not shake this up a little? For things like these, I adore projects that go towards the extreme a bit. I know that straight-forward and minimal forms and gestures such as these are not to everyones liking, but I wish I had a ranch like this. In fact, I wish more barns, ranches, and stables would be more architecturally advanced, not necessarily in this direction (an obvious reason being the also obvious expense for it), but just exploring the functional and aesthetic possibilities a bit more. I love old farms and wooden timber-frames, one should not try to change that, but if newly built, why not think outside of what is already known? Horse stables are a good example for this, in my opinion. Innovative, architecturally conceived equestrian centers? I´d love it.
There is a very elaborate and good interview by GQ with Tom Ford here. Quite interesting as well.
Photos by Guido Mocafico for Vogue Paris