Wow! An 83,000 square foot cultural center and spiritual retreat built on 80,000 acres of land in Connecticut. The glass and aluminum Grace Farms Complex was designed to look like a river in nature.
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Part cultural center, part spiritual retreat, the recently unveiled Grace Farms complex in New Canaan, Connecticut, is, at its core, a tribute to the landscape. There’s the property itself: 80 acres of former farmland that is now a nature preserve. Then there’s the sinuous main building, designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning firm SANAA to nestle lyrically into the site. Dubbed the River, the 83,000-square-foot facility comprises a series of single-story pavilions connected by covered walkways. It houses, among other spaces, a gymnasium, a library, and an amphitheater for both nondenominational worship services and secular events. Glass walls blur the boundary between the interiors and the grounds, which SANAA transformed in collaboration with the design studio OLIN. Seen from the air, the aluminum-roofed marvel shimmers spellbindingly, like a brook frozen in winter.