Education

Equestrian center opens in Benedek-mező/Câmpul Benedek

The riding stable where hundreds of kids and adults could occasionally take lessons as the weather allowed it is finally able to keep its gates open throughout the year. Starting this Sunday, the amazing design of the Gyergyószentmiklós/Gheorgheni-based Larix Studio has materialized with funding from the Hungarian government and the Sepsiszentgyörgy/Sfântu Gheorghe local government, and the equestrian center has opened its doors in Benedek-mező.

Photo: Vajk István Szigeti

Located just 7 km from Sepsiszentgyörgy, in Benedek-mező/Câmpul Benedek, it was once a farm serving only the privileged. Fortunately, the local mayor, Álmos Albert, has acknowledged the potential of the site, which first became the location of a children’s camp but finally evolved into a local horseback riding school, a welcome leisure program developed for children. In the horseback riding school administered by the Vadon Association hundreds of kids take riding lessons. This offers a great alternative to stationary activities such as TV-watching or surfing the internet, as it allows the kids to connect with nature, get plenty of fresh air, instill a healthy habit, and make new friends, all at the same time.

But, you know, in this area the horseback riding period is pretty short due to the weather, which becomes an issue if a parent wants to take the child for a horseback riding session during autumn or winter. Just ask parents around you with a younger child who fell in love with horses; they will likely ask you what’s the closest roofed riding stable.

Photo: Vajk István Szigeti

Fortunately, for those living in the Sepsiszentgyörgy area, this is no longer a problem. Dreamed up by Larix Studio’s lead architect Miklós Köllő and his team, backed up by Stabech Structure’s engineering team and constructed by Tig-Rad System, the riding stable in Benedek-mező is the twin brother of another built in Csíkszentsimon/Sânsimion, Harghita County. What makes this building special is the natural connection to the place where it sits. Designed to be both budget-friendly and adaptable to local community values, the building sits somewhere between classic craft and industrial production.

The uniqueness of the Csíkszentsimon/Sânsimion equestrian center building has captured the attention of international architects and was nominated for the EU Mies Award. As Köllő describes it: the equestrian center is “an exercise in landscape transparency, by which a relatively large volume gets acquainted with the scale of the place, and especially with the cultural landscape in Transylvania’s Székler Region.”

Title image: Girls enjoying a ride inside the newly opened equestrian center. Photo: Vajk István Szigeti

Author: István Fekete