During my business trip throughout the West Coast, I visited a couple of our projects that are under construction to monitor their progress. While both on the West Coast, the two projects seemingly couldn’t be more different. One is in Southern California and the other in Washington state: each reflects their settings in very unique ways.
The first project, called Lucky Jack Ranch, is located at the edge of Southern California, very close to Mexico. While the property is not located on the coast itself, you can see the blue tint of the ocean from the property. Beyond the view, the ocean also provides a practical benefit as we positioned the buildings on the property (a barn and a clubhouse) to take advantage of the cool ocean breezes. While the site is currently under construction and may be hard to visualize, I think the view of the ocean and the surrounding trees and greenery will provide a gorgeous backdrop for the owners and their family to enjoy their new equestrian facilities.
Here are a few photos of the Ranch under construction as well as a rendering to demonstrate what the project ultimately will look like.
The other project I visited is a private equestrian facility (we’re designing a new arena, to be followed by a new barn to replace the current one) called Circle B Ranch. This project is just north of Seattle, close to the Canadian border. As you probably assume, the aesthetics of this property highly contrast those of Lucky Jack Ranch.
It may sound cheesy, but the first word that comes to mind when describing the landscape of Circle B Ranch is lush. It is absolutely lush—all that rain really has quite an amazing effect on the land. With a hazy, green (autumn-leafy and colorful during my visit) foliage surrounding, the beautiful site was somewhat of a design challenge due to its relative perfection. The land, which is plentiful and mostly flat, doesn’t present much opportunity to “hide” the bulk of an arena, which can look overwhelming if it’s just plopped on any old spot in the land. Luckily, there’s a portion of the property with a slight mountainous slope where we located the arena in order to nestle it into the landscape to provide a more human scale. (Otherwise you’ll have the dreaded box effect—a big box of a building that sticks out like a sore thumb—aka, an architect’s worst nightmare.) The property also features the owner’s very cool and completely off-the-grid work studio—a small cabin-like refuge. Here are a few photos of the progress at Circle B. Now, is that green or what?