Island Equestrian

Location: Seattle Area
Architects/Interiors/Landscape: McClellan Architects
Additional Landscape Design: Alchemie
Builder: Robert Casey Construction

The owner envisaged her estate as a place for her family to gather on the weekends and to host larger family events. The home is located in a primarily residential neighborhood in the greater Seattle area. The five-acre estate is comprised of a 70- by 175-foot arena, a six stall stable with adjacent sacrifice areas, a large service and utility garage, a private residence, a caretaker’s residence, a play lawn, vegetable garden, chicken coop, service court, sculptural rain garden, and four separate pastures, all enclosed by a perimeter paddock track. 

The site had always been a farm where local families had boarded their horses. When the property was sold to the current owners the community was happy that the tradition continued and it remained a horse property.  

The goal for the equestrian structures was to create a complex that maximized social interaction and connectivity. The grooming bays became the focal point by locating them at the end of the stables facing the arena and horse court. They are framed by two sets of oversized sliding doors with custom hardware that open entirely to connect them to the arena and surrounding service court, providing efficient access for farriers and vets. The doors are a perforated weathering steel to allow for natural light and ventilation while providing protection from the elements. The barn features six stalls, two grooming stations, a wash stall, feed room, grain/blanket/laundry room, tack room, and a private office and powder room enclosed in a curved stone wall.

Materials include weathering steel, rough-hewn limestone, custom-milled lumber with a maintenance-free wood treatment, and white polycarbonate skylights to maximize natural light.  Horse and rider safety were paramount considerations and supported by simple and commodious circulation, ample natural light, open cross ventilation, selection of arena footing, and landscape plantings and locations.