The VG Horse Club is our first project which focuses on horses and not on humans. For us, it was a new unusual experience of thinking within the framework of a different ergonomic system. Our main goal was to make the animals happy by providing them with all possible conveniences: a spa infrastructure (a shower, a sun parlour and specialized grooming staff), training arenas and sports equipment, comfortable climate control and an audio system. Another important objective was to enable the Club to host guest horses, athletes and spectators to conduct international sports championships.
Clearly, the key part in the Horse Club is played by the stables, with all other structures located around them. These include two riding arenas (a roofed one and an open-air one), round training pavilions, the administrative centre and other facilities. The roofed arena has three attached “finger”-stables directed towards the centre of the site, with paddocks and an open-air arena with the stands used to conduct championships.
The masterplan was conceived with regard to the site terrain and its proximity to the river. The Club’s buildings and structures are logically placed in the most elevated part of the site. The flooded area is reserved for meadows, while the apple orchard and the large volume of the roofed arena shield the Club from the noisy highway traffic. The main building is E-shaped. All the areas for horse exercising and the open arena are located on the terraces on the sloping terrain. They are threaded on the linden alley axis, which leads to riding path along the river.
The gable of the club centre is constructed of rough oak logs: they emphasize the tectonic structure, emphasise the entrance portal and control the light inside the building. All the deadwood logs which came from the local forest were measured and, after a 3D-simulation, fixed to the façade according to the designed pattern. This gave the gable its precise rhythm.
The VG Horse Club is an equestrian facility with several guest rooms for athletes and trainers. The Club members are offered separate guest-rooms with a bathroom, shower and lockets, so that they could relax before and after the training sessions. The main office is almost fully glazed and overlooks the main training arena. Besides the guest rooms, the Club also has a small café and a kitchen unit, changing rooms for the trainees, staff rooms, a laundry, and drying units. The Club has a closed-loop engineering infrastructure; all the stables are heated by an eco-friendly manure-processing system.
All the Club’s buildings and structures have a pre-fabricated metal framework with mounted wall and roof panels, which are mainly used for industrial purposes. The combination of industrial materials and rough timber has become an amusing precedent.
The VG Horse Club opened with the international dressage tournament World Cup CDI-W. It was the first time that Kharkiv hosted two World Cup Series events in the Central European Dressage League.