SANAA just unveiled the first images of their curvy Grace Farms cultural center in Connecticut, dubbed "The River." The structure comprises five pavilions topped with a single roof surface that meanders through the sloping landscape of the nature reserve. Sinuous forms and large glass surfaces, SANAA's trademark spatial elements, dominate the project, which offers stunning 360-degree views of the surroundings.
The River is located on a former farm site in New Canaan in Connecticut and, together with the renovated existing barn, provides various spaces such as a library, gymnasium, orientation center, common areas, a cafe and a sanctuary. Seeking to integrate the building into the site and blur the line between inside and outside, the architects turned to their successful formula: curved floor-to-ceiling glass surfaces and serpentine roofs resting on slender pillars.
The roof is made of glue-laminated timbers capped with aluminium panels. The combination of metal, glass and timber creates an interplay of reflections, inviting atmosphere and natural light. The sanctuary is used by Grace Community Church and other groups in the region. While SANAA were in charge of the building design, the surrounding landscape was entrusted to Philadelphia firm OLIN.
Lead photo by Dean Kaufman