Last year French actress Léa Seydoux and fashion photographer Patrick Demarchelier touched down in Mexico City with a haul of Louis Vuitton. They headed straight to the ranch of San Cristóbal, and while horses were mustered as extras, Seydoux modelled the fashion house’s pre-AW16 collection against the ranch’s brilliant pink and purple walls.
Designed in 1968 on a seven-acre plot in the north of the capital, San Cristóbal has graced as many covers as the 32-year-old Seydoux. Its creator, the late Mexican architect Luis Barragán, was a horse lover, and in addition to the main house, guesthouse and stable block, he created two L-shaped swimming pools, the largest of which was for the horses, not their owners.
For centuries, great emphasis has been placed on the design of “horse houses”. In 1754, Georgian architect John Carr invented the “grandstand” at his Grade II-listed York Racecourse (parts of which have been recently been refurbished by Phelan Architects), and Goodwood’s stable block, built between 1757 and 1761 by William Chambers, is, some say, more architecturally distinguished than the main house.