My staff and I had a great time at Ketchen Place Farm’s second annual Barn Party over the weekend! I’ll post photos and give more details soon, but I just want to thank everyone at Ketchen for a great time and their incredible hospitality. Also, congratulations on the (I believe now) 5-day-old foal– she’s an adorable addition to the horse family at Ketchen.
We’re really excited to be a part of Kathryn Masson’s new book called Stables: Beautiful Paddocks, Horse Barns, and Tack Rooms. The book features stunning photographs by Paul Rocheleau and showcases a variety of stables across the United States. One of the stables shown is Sagamore Farm, the famous thoroughbred-horse breeding farm originally owned and operated by Alfred G. Vanderbilt, II.
Blackburn Architects had the pleasure of working with Sagamore’s current owner, Kevin Plank, CEO of Under Armour, to restore and upgrade the facilities, which had fallen into serious disrepair from the former previous ownership. We provided architectural services to renovate two of the farm’s existing barns: the 16-stall foaling and 20-stall broodmare barns.
We’re pleased to announce that our line of pre-designed barns called Blackburn Greenbarns® is now available in ready-to-construct form. Starting with four models, each barn is designed to capture the power of the sun and wind to provide natural light and ventilation. While each barn can be modified to meet your design preferences and operational goals, the “starting point” concept designs minimize architectural fees normally associated with complete custom design.
OK, so I have to once again spread the word about Blackburn Greenbarns®, our pre-designed line of sustainable barns. We just issued a press release, which you can check out here. We are really excited to share these new barns with you in a “ready-to-construct” format. We really feel that all equestrians (and their horses too, of course) deserve to have sustainable barn options that are easy to modify, protect the health and safety of your horses, and are ready to construct quickly and efficiently (with the help of a licensed professional, of course).
We are sending out virtual invitations to all our friends, clients old and new, and family to take a look at our new website this Thursday when it will be complete. However, please feel free to visit the site before then at www.blackburngreenbarns.com. We hope you’ll like it and we hope to hear from you if you have any feedback, questions, or interest.
An associate of mine runs a great email list that features news and happenings in the equestrian community. The other day, the email contained an article from Maryland’s Prince George’s County section of The Gazette. Written by Zoe Tilman, the article is about a horse industry task force up for vote in Prince George’s County. With several states adding slots venues (such as Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Delaware), the pressure is on the equine industry to take advantage of its potential revenue power, especially in regard to racinos—the combination of a casino with thoroughbred racing.
Tilman’s article points out that Prince George’s County isn’t necessarily well known for its equine industry, but that the County is interested in spreading the word in order to garner interest and recognition throughout the state. If approved (a vote is expected sometime this month), the horse task force will bring together “state and local equine industry groups and economic development agencies.”
While I believe racinos are fun and have their time and place, I do wish there were more public equestrian facilities and parks. However, it seems that many states are becoming desperate to get out of the red, so to speak, and look at slots/gambling as a way out.
Well, I finally decided to give Facebook a try. I’m not sure I can keep up with it, to be honest. But mainly I hope to get a nice “fan page” started for Blackburn Architects so that people who are interested in equestrian design—or just architecture and design in general—can meet, collaborate, and ask questions.
Do you think this has value? If so, I’d love to have you as a friend and a fan on Facebook.
At the Blackburn office, we’ve been busy developing Blackburn Greenbarns®, a line of pre-designed barns that are sustainable, provide a healthy and safe atmosphere for horses, and are more affordable than custom design. We first introduced this line of barns last April, but the overall construction costs for the barns were a little higher than we would have liked. So, we decided to go back to the drawing board (literally) in an attempt to streamline the process without compromising our values. We are almost ready to relaunch Blackburn Greenbarns® (with a new and improved website on its way!) with a “kit barn” option, but I would really love to hear from you as far as what’s most important to you when building a new barn.
I know that cost is a huge factor—as it should be—for most barn owners. However, I also know that being a horse owner is quite an investment in and of itself—and that most owners just want a facility that protects their horses when they are in the barn, knowing full well that the horses would rather be lazing about in the paddocks.
What is the most important factor when building a new barn? Affordability? What about the style or look of the barn? Are you interested in sustainable products or incorporating green design?
I hope you’ll comment on this post and share your thoughts. Maybe there’s something that all the barn builders (or architects) forget to include/consider and it drives you nuts? Or maybe there’s a particular service (like site planning) that you’d find valuable but aren’t sure you can afford or truly need and would like to know more about it.
Hope to hear from you! More on what we’ve been up to soon.
Blackburn Architects’ work at Sagamore Farm in Glyndon, Maryland is a part of Kathryn Masson’s new book called Stables: Beautiful Paddocks, Horse Barns, and Tack Rooms from Rizzoli Publications. With gorgeous photography by Paul Rocheleau, the book is available through Rizzoli, Amazon, and major book retailers. Read a review from The Classicist for more information about this collection of beautiful equestrian architecture.
A few days ago, I came across Tammy La Gorce’s article about how equestrian vaulting–“gymnastics on horseback”–is gaining popularity in areas across New York. The article follows one particularly determined performer named Miranda Marcantuno, 11, who has been riding since she was six.
I thought the multimedia slide show was fun to look through to see the young riders practicing stunts on cantering horses that you might expect from circus performers. You can read the article here.
Also, check out the American Vaulting Association for more details about the sport.
I thought I’d share a relatively new blog by the talented writer Jennifer Sergent. I first got to know Jennifer’s work through the now defunct Washington Spaces Magazine. Spaces closed its doors in January, which is a shame not just for Jennifer, but for architects and designers in the DC Metro Region. The magazine was beautifully produced and showed off some of the best interior design and residential architecture in the District and surrounding areas. (I’m proud to report that one of our projects–an old bank barn converted into a party barn–graced the cover.)
However, Jennifer’s new blog–DC by Design–helps fill that void by continuing to bring light to great design in our area. She’s also had recent pieces in the Washington Post and the Examiner. Whether you live in Washington or are just a fan of all things design, I think you will find DC by Design a blog worth bookmarking.