2017 | Horse Barns/Facilities (under 5,000 sq. ft.) | 1st Place

The Lodge and Equestrian Center at Hawkins Ranch
Built By:
Morton Buildings, Inc. / Port Charlotte, FL Crew
Sarasota, FL
Building use, importance, and newsworthiness:

The owner’s objective contained 5 major functional elements.

First, a desire to view the horse paddocks from the master bedroom. This was accomplished by creating a rectangle barn with a square lodge home joined at one end to create an L-shape using each building joined together to create the master bedroom view.

Second, to be able to access the equestrian center from an attached garage.

Third, to use over size sliding glass doors and windows throughout the lodge to bring the beauty of the surrounding ranch indoors.

Fourth, to be ecologically friendly by strategically locating the Lodge/equestrian center in and among the multiple existing hundred-year-old oak trees.

Finally, to incorporate a handicap accessible lodge style home to provide for any future home owner needs. Newsworthy, as it is a lodge/equestrian center that is providing a relaxing, open, warm welcoming lodge home with a spacious, state of the art custom horse barn that is coexisting in the surrounding nature while supporting the owners dream of breeding and raising their horses.

Unique features:

The unique front porch of the Lodge commands eight graduated stone pillars which provide a warm entrance under a dramatic 15 foot wrap around porch. The stone front entrance foyer of the lodge opens up into a dramatic 24 foot octagon living room complete with a 13 foot graduated tongue and groove ceiling accented by concealed up lighting casting a warm glow upward, while an original 6 foot Elk antler chandelier suspends from the center of the Octagon. The back wall of the octagon hosts a custom hand-laid stone fireplace with a rough cut cypress beam mantle, raised hearth which provides a dramatic back drop for the living room. The stone chosen for the fireplace was a mixture of ozark, moss flag stone, and crazy horse flag stone. The octagon open floor plan is an innovative concept as it lends itself to the Kitchen with 10 foot high ceilings, narcarado quartzite granite center island with an inlayed cook top, built in ovens, and complimentary stainless steel appliances.

The island is surrounded by cherry cabinetry with a reclaimed wood tongue-and-groove black splash with warm under-cabinet lighting for a welcoming effect. Each of the three rooms off the octagon opens up via 12 panel double French doors supporting the open floor plan concept. The unique feature of the octagon design is space saving as no hallway space was needed to access any room. There are two bedrooms along with a custom built-in office. The office has been created to easily convert to a third bedroom with the use of a murphy bed when needed.

The construction technique and building material choices were important to the owner due to the harsh climate conditions along with the annual threat of hurricanes to southwest Florida. The metal roof and side walls are tough and durable, able to withstand the elements as well as allowing for minimum maintenance with no fading nor painting required and pressure washing for routine upkeep.

The custom design features of the 13 stall barn include: -15 foot wrap around porch providing a 10 ft high outdoor covered paddocks -12x14 foot oversize stalls -Three functional cupolas which enhance and assist with the proper air exchanges necessary for the overall respiratory health of the horses -14 foot grade to heel height in barn allows the expansive interior feel and allows for a cooler environment for the horses -16 foot center aisle width and 2-9’6” center aisle doors that allow for service, easy barn access for daily maintenance and deliveries.

Post-frame advantage:

The benefits of post frame construction gives the owners peace of mind as it made to withstand extreme wind events which frequents southwest Florida. One of the main features of the ranch are the many 100+ year old live and laurel oak trees that surround the property. The innovative design attaching the custom horse barn to the lodge home minimizes the environmental impact by creating one building site instead of two helping to preserve more of the existing natural landscape including the trees, creating a positive aesthetic visual structure with a presence in scale and balance to it’s surroundings.

Cost per Sq. Ft.:


Duration to complete:

390 Days