For anyone with the somewhat niche combined interest that straddles horses and architecture, of all the Rizzoli books, this might be your absolute favourite. All the dedication that the most meticulous architects pour into the design, landscaping, structure and material of houses, is focused on the lodging of the horse: the stable.
The book’s author, Victor Deupi, an architectural historian writes: ‘Horses have always been praised for their strength and beauty, and stables were designed for both practicality and display, as horses – like art – were recognised as valuable possessions and installations’. Horses are celebrated as a ‘stable constant’ since the dawn of urban civilisation in this glorious visual tome.
From a Finnish farmstead to a Spanish hacienda via the Australian outback, this Rizzoli serves as a thoroughly global look at some of the most ambitious, memorable and aspirational stables in the world. The photographs are gripping and transportive, from the creamy white, wooden Shooting Stables in Alabama – with the horses grazing out the front – to the spectacular Figueras Polo Stables in Buenos Aires Argentina, which is surely a structure Mies van der Rohe would approve of (let alone the horses). So beautifully landscaped, with clean lines, sharp silhouettes and circled by a man-made moat, it’s the ‘stable’ answer to Van der Rohe’s modernist classic, the Barcelona Pavilion.
The horses are beautiful – endlessly noble, gazing out from their stables or grazing in their paddocks – the architecture is fascinating and it’s a visual spectacle of photography. There’s stiff competition, but this may be my favourite Rizzoli ever.