If you thought your horse was living in the lap of luxury — think again. Merricks Stables in Australia seems to have trumped anything we’ve seen before. A lifetime of sweeping, sprucing and painting wouldn’t get our yards looking like this creation.

With its turquoise drinking pool, fountain and clean-cut lines, it’s hard to believe you’re not looking at something from a virtual-reality video game.

We’re just comforting ourselves with the thought that our equines appreciate a bit of “shabby chic” hay lying around…

Located on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula south of Melbourne in Australia, amid farmland and vineyards, Seth Stein Architects were commissioned to design this new equestrian centre as the first phase of a country estate.

The London architects worked in association with Watson Architecture+Design, based in Melbourne, for a client who is based in both the UK and Australia and is a keen equestrian.


The terrain is gently undulating and extensive land works had to be carried out in order to stabilise and establish a level surface for the large arena, as well as providing extensive land drainage that feeds into a new lake — with a small island as a bird sanctuary.

The stables are arranged in a crescent that provides enclosed stables for four horses, wash, tack and laundry, a workshop, feed as well as a small office and groom’s flat.

A barn wing accommodates hay and straw as well as parking.

The crescent stables include a covered colonnade that overlooks the central semi-circular paddock in front of the arena.


8.Merricks_Stables_1010The outer perimeter wall is constructed from “rammed earth” — a method of unreinforced concrete construction found in the region. This wall continues beyond the main enclosure to encompass the day pens and culminates in a shallow pool served by a fountain that offers a cool drink for the horses.

Also from H&H: Check out this amazing indoor school…


Rainwater collected via four corrugated steel cylinders supplies large buried water tanks beneath the paddock, with the overflow supplying the new lake.

In a region that is subject to prolonged seasons of little rainfall, the ability to conserve water was a key factor in the landscaping that is integrated with the architectural design.

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