Regent’s Park Pony Club

2012 | Tutors: Murray Fraser, Pierre D’Avoine

Regent’s Park Pony Club is a community riding school and a voluntary equestrian patrol centre located at Cumberland Market in London, UK.

When John Nash designed Regent’s Park in the 1800s, he planned for the grander houses to sit adjacent to the park on the west side of Albany Road and for the service area to sit on the east. 300 years later today, segregation between the two sides is still apparent. Grand houses have remained while the service area was replaced by institutional buildings and social housing. Albany Road is an invisible social barrier that only services traffic along the path but does not encourage activities across its two sides. I propose to break the barrier by re-introducing horse riding, a historically inseparable element to the community, as an agent to facilitate interactions that will permeate the boundary.

Regent’s Park Pony Club will be where residents learn to ride and groom as well as build relationships with horses and among themselves. The building has three storeys: ground and first floors are mainly stables for ponies and patrolling horses respectively, while second floor houses a horse clinic and horse carers’ living quarters. Ponies are placed on ground floor to encourage physical interaction between them and users; horses are placed on first floor to increase visual interaction between them and residents of surrounding council estates. Across the road in Regent’s Park is a larger paddock where horses and ponies can gallop freely. Four patrol routes are mapped out across the ward. Volunteers and horses both patrol and act as ambassadors that promote horse riding and create a distinct identity for the ward of Regent’s Park.