West of Ocala Florida, The World Equestrian center sits as a community devoted to equestrian arts. A place where one can reconnect with our equine counterparts in a comfortable and enjoyable setting. The World Equestrian Center requested that Aha Studio help design and implement a restaurant, ballroom and event center. What started out as an eighty thousand square foot building grew into a much larger project. Now the proposed building sits at near two hundred thousand square feet. With a massive classical European inspired façade, a large foyer with double-curved staircases, a bakery and restaurant on the first floor, a ballroom dance floor on the second floor, meeting and private event spaces on the third and a rooftop sushi and drink bar to top this massive event and gathering space. It has truly been a joyful challenge as this project has continued to grow and shape from the owners and stakeholders input and visions.
Framing the building to the south, Aha Studio was additionally tasked with providing a retail village design. The retail village will provide an additional place for guests to explore luxury shopping, while also providing a space around the restaurant and ballroom for gathering and equine events. Framed with live oaks and local plant life, the retail village is reminiscent of a European town market. After working closely with the owners and many design inputs and changes, Aha Studio was able to provide a place for guests to spend their time and for commercial business to take part in the festivities. The result is the culmination of much design collaboration and discussion. As the project continues to move forward, the entire firm and our various collaborators are looking forward to seeing this project come to life and perhaps enjoying a nice evening on the rooftop balcony.