Coach House Wellington’s newest residents, the Nacho Figueras family, have an intense travel schedule that takes them from one end of the globe to the other. From regular stays in Aspen for snow polo to the Hamptons for the summer to Buenos Aires and back to Wellington, Florida for the winter, Figueras owns extraordinary homes in many locations. His stylish home in Argentina has captured the attention of Elle Décor with its art-filled, modern style. We can’t wait to see his vision unfold in their new residence at Coach House Wellington.
POLO STAR NACHO FIGUERAS’S STYLISH HOME
Ralph Lauren model and polo sensation Nacho Figueras creates a modern family home outside Buenos Aires
The facturas, or Argentine tea cakes, served at the home of international polo star Nacho Figueras and his wife, Delfina Blaquier, are fluffy and light with creamy dulce de leche centers. No wonder they are a favorite of guests, not to mention the couple’s children, Hilario, 10, and Aurora, 5—though Artemio is still too tiny to enjoy them.
Tea is taken on the terrace, with views of a polo field beyond. Figueras’s low, modernist house is located 45 minutes from downtown Buenos Aires, in an area that has become an epicenter of the sport, with literally hundreds of fields. “You could buy a place here and not play polo,” says Figueras, the cofounder of the Ralph Lauren–sponsored Blackwatch team, who also stars in ads for the designer’s menswear and colognes. “But why would you?”
Photos Courtesy of Elle Décor
When he was ready to break ground, Figueras turned to Juan Ignacio Ramos, an architect he had first encountered at the age of 17 in the horse barn Ramos was building for a friend. “You’re going to design my house one day,” the teenager announced that morning, and a decade later the dream came true. “Ramos isn’t just an architect,” Figueras offers. “He is an artist who makes houses.”
The straightforward geometry of the structure makes it seem almost like a work by Tadao Ando, the Japanese minimalist, but Ramos says he looked to the region’s colonial heritage. “We kept the historic European houses of the pampas in mind,” the architect says. “The design is simple: stucco on the outside; the floors inside are concrete or an indigenous hardwood called incienso. Big stone walls, very private.”
“The pampas houses had towers,” Figueras adds, “in case of native attacks.” So here a tower rises above a long wall that shades the residence. This one is not fortified, however, but contains an art studio for the multitalented Figueras and is full of his abstract canvases and Blaquier’s black-and-white photographs.
The design of the property, which features a walled garden, was overseen by Blaquier, who studied landscape architecture. “She brought in the pasto llorón, weeping grass, from her father’s farm in the west,” Ramos says. “Nothing manicured.”
“We also moved boulders,” Blaquier adds. “Some of them literally weighed a ton.”
Photos Courtesy of Elle Décor
The interior showcases Figueras’s boldly gestural and vividly colored paintings and Blaquier’s oversize photos. An intense red-and-orange canvas hangs above the fireplace in the living room, where a punchy red leather Chesterfield sofa found at a flea market in Buenos Aires is paired with a classic Le Corbusier chaise upholstered in cowhide. In the hall, pride of place goes to an abstract still life by Gustavo Serra—a member of the Escuela del Sur (School of the South) movement founded by Joaquín Torres-García, which Figueras particularly admires.
The prominently placed trophy in the media room was won by one of Figueras’s mares, Chicago, so named, says Blaquier, “because she has white socks on her back legs.” The two long benches that flank the dining table were a labor of love. “I drew our carpenter a sketch,” says Blaquier. “Then my cousin, who designs shoes, took me to a leather market outside Buenos Aires’s Boedo neighborhood for the hides of Criollo, or Creole, cattle.” The leather-and-steel chairs at either end were originally created for Ramos’s grandfather by Antonio Bonet, one of the architects behind the iconic Butterfly chair.
After some cajoling, Blaquier shares snapshots of Estancia La Concepción, her family’s sprawling French-style country house that could be the setting for a Ralph Lauren ad. “My father inherited his mares from his father, who was a really good player,” she says of the dashing Juan José Silvestre Blaquier, who died at the age of 43, in 1958, while piloting his new plane.
Photos Courtesy of Elle Décor
Clearly, polo runs in the blood of both members of this couple, as does a bit of daring. It seems there’s nothing they won’t attempt. Blaquier designed the behemoth bed in the spare, masculine master suite and had it sheathed in a delicate veneer of difficult-to-mill walnut root. Above it is an abstract-nude photograph from the series she exhibited at Centro Cultural Recoleta in Buenos Aires in 2009.
Some of the furnishings have backstories that could have come straight from a Gabriel García Márquez novel. “In 1992, a tornado knocked down 100-year-old trees at our family farm,” says Blaquier, as she points out a piece on a console. “A cousin sculpted this beautiful rounded form from the felled timber.” Her brother, Eduardo, also a sculptor, crafted the undulating totems that soften corners throughout the house. The cardboard Frank Gehry Wiggle chair in the master bedroom was the find of the decade, snapped up for $2.50 in a Buenos Aires junk shop—”He didn’t know what he had,” Blaquier says. Some treasures cost even less. The bleached cow skull that leans against the tiger-striped ebony paneling in the entry was found in a field last year by Hilario, who, having stopped for tea, is now running late for his own polo match.
Coach House Wellington offers eight distinct floorplans and only 34 bespoke residences ranging from 2,800 square feet to 5,800 square feet. Designed for a discriminating buyer, Coach House offers a highly serviced lifestyle to allow homeowners more time to enjoy their time in Wellington. This pet-friendly property provides exquisite amenities including a rooftop pool and private cabanas, high-performance fitness center and spa, library, boardroom, private dining room, catering kitchen, private climate-controlled garages, direct elevator access along with a limited number of guest suites.
Coach House pricing starts from $2.5 million. For more information about securing a condominium residence through advance reservation, visit the Sales Gallery located at 13410 South Shore Blvd., or for best selection and pricing contact the Sales Team at CoachHouseWellington.com/contact.
By Keith Larsen
Published in TheRealDeal
A new luxury condo development is coming to Wellington that aims to lure high-profile polo players and equestrian estate owners looking to downsize.
Coach House recently launched pre-construction sales for the four-story, 34-unit building to be built at 3410 South Shore Boulevard, on the former site of the Players Club. The property spans 5.5 acres adjacent to the Equestrian Preserve in the town known for its equestrian events.
The boutique project will be the first development by billionaire Neil Hirsch, who owns the BlackWatch Polo Team, and who founded Telerate, a global communications company.
Douglas Elliman’s CMG Group is handling sales. Prices range from $2.5 million to $6.5 million, said Elliman’s John Greene, sales director for the project.
Coach House already has scored two pre-sales, according to a spokesperson. Ralph Lauren model and top-ranked professional Blackwatch Team polo player, Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras, and his photographer wife Delfina Balquier, plan to buy a unit. Polo player Grant Ganzi also is a buyer, the spokesperson said.
Construction will begin in September, and the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2022, Greene said. Coach House was designed by GarciaStromberg in West Palm Beach with interiors by Denise Kuriger Design, according to a release.
Amenities will include a rooftop pool, fitness center and spa, library, boardroom, private dining room, catering kitchen, private climate-controlled garages and private elevators for each unit. The development will also include private cabanas and guest suites, according to the release.
Greene said Coach House aims to appeal to “very affluent people with multiple homes, who want a place to come to Florida to be active without worrying about homeownership.”
He compares the project to The Bristol in West Palm Beach, a 25-story, 69-unit luxury condo tower at 1100 South Flagler Drive developed by Al Adelson and Gene Golub. The building has attracted a number of wealthy estate owners from Palm Beach who sought to downsize.
Wellington is known as the equestrian capital of the world and is home to the Wellington Equestrian Festival.
Read the full article here.
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