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  5. SANAA
  6. 2015
  7. SANAA’s First US Commission Since Pritzker, “The River” Underway in Connecticut

SANAA’s First US Commission Since Pritzker, “The River” Underway in Connecticut

SANAA’s First US Commission Since Pritzker, “The River” Underway in Connecticut
SANAA’s First US Commission Since Pritzker, “The River” Underway in Connecticut, Exterior view of The River. Image Courtesy of Grace Farms and SANAA
Exterior view of The River. Image Courtesy of Grace Farms and SANAA

“The River,” SANAA’s first US commission since winning the 2010 Pritzker Prize, is currently underway in Connecticut. Designed by the Japanese practice in collaboration with OLIN, the meandering and almost transparent building will be built on a 75-acre preserve as a multi-use platform for events and initiatives put on by the community of New Canaan and non-profit Grace Farms Foundation.

“We are thrilled that Grace Farms will begin welcoming the public in autumn 2015,” Sharon Prince, president of the Grace Farms Foundation stated. 

Exterior view of the living and dining room. Image Courtesy of Grace Farms and SANAA Interior view of the dining room. Image Courtesy of Grace Farms and SANAA Aerial. Image Courtesy of Grace Farms and SANAA Grace Farms under construction October 2014. Image © Dean Kaufman + 20

Exterior view of The River from the wetlands. Image Courtesy of Grace Farms and SANAA
Exterior view of The River from the wetlands. Image Courtesy of Grace Farms and SANAA

“Known as the River because of the way it meanders through the rolling terrain, the SANAA building occupies a footprint of 77,000-square-feet at Grace Farms,” described the Foundation in a press release. “Nestled into the landscape, the River begins on a knoll and then flows down the long, gentle slope in a series of bends, forming pond-like spaces on its journey. 

Exterior view of the living and dining room. Image Courtesy of Grace Farms and SANAA
Exterior view of the living and dining room. Image Courtesy of Grace Farms and SANAA

“Structurally, the building of glass, concrete, steel and wood is in essence a single long roof, which seems to float some 10 to 14 feet above the surface of the ground as it twists and turns across the landscape. The walkways, courtyards and glass-wrapped volumes that form beneath the roof are remarkably transparent and invite people to engage with the expansive natural surroundings.”

Interior view of the sanctuary/ indoor amphitheater. Image Courtesy of Grace Farms and SANAA
Interior view of the sanctuary/ indoor amphitheater. Image Courtesy of Grace Farms and SANAA

Once complete, the glass-walled volumes will include an 700-seat amphitheater, library, dining and living room for 300, coffee bar, welcome center, gymnasium and multi-purpose space, built partially below grade, with an adjoining media lab and game room. 

Plan. Image Courtesy of Grace Farms and SANAA
Plan. Image Courtesy of Grace Farms and SANAA

Kazuyo Sejima of SANAA adds, “Our goal with the River is to make the architecture become part of the landscape without drawing attention to itself, or even feeling like a building. We hope that those who are on the property will have a greater enjoyment of the beautiful environment and changing seasons through the spaces and experience created by the River.”

Grace Farms under construction October 2014. Image © Dean Kaufman
Grace Farms under construction October 2014. Image © Dean Kaufman

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Cite: Karissa Rosenfield. "SANAA’s First US Commission Since Pritzker, “The River” Underway in Connecticut" 21 Nov 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/570398/sanaa-s-first-us-commission-the-river-underway-in-connecticut/> ISSN 0719-8884
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