Modern Stable in a Finland Forest Uses Raw Pine for Happy Horses

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A beautiful modern stable on the edge of a forest in rural Finland, north of the city of Espoo, boldly features a predominantly white pine design both for looks and for practical reasons. Completed by local architecture studio Pook, the farm building incorporates a sharply gabled asymmetric roof with horse stalls and storage on one side, and a manure barn on the other. So why’d they go with unfinished white pine?

animal architecture stables

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According to the architects, the use of untreated pine cladding helps to regulate the humidity inside the stables, keeping the horses happy and healthy. It also avoids any wood finishes that could off-gas toxins into the stalls. But take one look at all these gorgeous photos and you’ll see that aesthetics played a role, too. Raw pine makes up the majority of the interior and exterior surfaces, mostly in the form of tongue-and-groove boards as well as the timber framework. Concrete was used in areas that the horses might get dirty.

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These boards extend all the way from the floors to the high ceilings, perfectly setting off the skylights that flood the interiors with sunlight during the day. Mechanical vents provide natural ventilation, and hot air pumps – along with the heat generated by the horses themselves – help maintain comfortable temperatures inside.

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“The aim was to locate the building nestled in a picturesque great landscape,” say the architects. “Its long edge follows the direction of the forest slope and brings the building’s gable into the woods. In addition to landscape benefit, this created wind shelters in outdoor spaces to protect against the prevailing southwestern winds. Massing is based on the steep, asymmetric gabled roof, under which all central functions are located.”

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