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First Look At The SANAA’s Grace Farms, Connecticut

Dean Kaufman

Japanese architects Sanaa have completed their curvy Grace Farms cultural center – dubbed the River – that spreads out over 80 acres in Connecticut. Starting from the top of a knoll, where a 20,900 square foot, glass enclosed amphitheatre sits, the building gently descends down the terrain via a covered, but outdoor walkway that connects library, dining room, welcome pavilion and ends in a sunken gymnasium that houses a basketball court, media lab and games room. All the indoor spaces are encased in curved glass, preserving a sense of the outdoors when indoors and vice versa.

SANAA’s goal was to make the architecture of the River become part of the landscape without drawing attention to itself, or even feeling like a building, with the hope that those who are on the plot will have a greater enjoyment of the beautiful environment and changing seasons through the spaces and experience created by the River.

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all images by Iwan Baan, unless otherwise stated