End of an Era…

Kilora Grices Road Berwick aerial

Well it is a sad day. After over 22 years of private practice it seems too soon…and it came unexpectedly and without fanfare.

One of my early designs has been demolished!

Well to be fair it wasn’t a complete demolition; more of a deconstruction…

That ‘L’ shaped building in the aerial photo above was commissioned 20 years ago by a wonderful client, Dr Bill Riches, then owner of a racehorse stud, Kilora Park.

As a 26 year old Architect (and avid race follower) I was absolutely stoked to be given this unique opportunity so early in my career. Needless to say I hadn’t had any experience in designing horse stables (nor any since!)

elevations+sections Kilora

In addition to the 16 stalls, he needed an entertaining room (for potential horse purchasers) and an elevated ‘viewing room’. This was used to keep an eye on mares about to give birth.

I always reflected fondly on this experience with an incredibly efficient builder and Bill’s dry wit.

He once commented that, had one of his prized stallions not died so young, “I would have had a motorbike with air-conditioning”!.


A few weeks back I saw Bill again, after 15 years. “What happened to my one and only equine construction?”.

He said he had sold his property to residential developers and the stables were actually purchased by another stud owner, Three Bridges Thoroughbreds, near Castlemaine.


I called Peter there desperately hoping he would say they were perfectly reconstructed in a lush green paddock by a glistening dam (like they were originally).

Alas, the good news (from a sustainability perspective) is many of the materials were actually used for construction; the bad news, (from an architectural perspective) is they were used to construct a shed!

No happily ever after wandering into the sunset Hollywood ending unfortunately…BUT if you are reading this and need your own stables ‘architecturally designed’, then call me to have a chat.

I would love to do at least one more before I go the way of the stables…


(*ps: I didn’t have any completed photos easily available as it was well before the wonders of digital photography – but when I see Bill again I’ll ask for some which I’ll post in this blog)