Everything is an opportunity. I am forever in love with that notion, that everything is an opportunity for design. Take the needs, survey what’s there, and play around a bunch! In the end, you might end up with something very beautiful.
Which leads us tonight to this barn on a farm in Chile. Splitting apart like a zipper, it encompasses all manners of workhorse functions: toolhouse, machinery shed, dining room for farm hands, and a stable for all those horses. And the playing is plenty evident, beginning with an expressive wood structure that provides shelter as well as forming a sculptural envelope that’s a joy to be in. The water trough doubles as a lovely reflecting pool and demarks the edge of the site. And that unzippering not only allows for the necessary circulation, but also frames views of the surrounding fields and mountain sides. It’s all there, working together; the utilitarian backed up by solid structure that itself leads the eye towards beauty both near and beyond.
I love it. A building that takes its very rugged requirements and fulfills them in a way that honours the land, honours its workers, and honours the soul of us all. Good stuff. El Galeno Horse Stables and Warehouse by Peñafiel & Valdivieso Arquitectos.