Nestled in New Canaan, Connecticut, Grace Farms is a bucolic place where art meets architecture in a natural setting of green meadows.
Designed by Japanese Pritzker Prize architects SANAA, Grace Farms is built as a series of pavilions in which you can choose to unwind, consult the art library or admire art by Beatriz Milhazes.
You can also choose to listen to performances in the most intimate of auditoriums, where Oliafur Eliasson adds to the meditative mood of the surrounding materials with his Mats for Multi-dimensional Prayers.
Come with a group and you might change the world for good…or at least try! But truly, taking in the views framed by SANAA’s modernist architecture is the real treat.
Following the gently sloping concrete river path linking the pavilions, I kept being surprised by beautiful reflections of the outside landscape on the curved glass windows.
Blurring the boundary between inside and outside, the landscape uncurls its reality, as if it were a picture-perfect Kodak film roll, responding and springing from the wood curvature of the pavilions, busy playing dream catchers with the rolling clouds and sloping vistas.
The same is achieved through the art of Teresita Fernández.
Catching clouds inside a multitude of silvered glass cubes, Teresita Fernández achieves a glittering pixelization of the surrounding landscape and an optical atomization of its reflection.
Fully respecting the existing hill and slopes of the landscape, architecture and nature cohabit in a stunning disappearing act.
SANAA pavilions undulate, showing a fluidity reminiscent of the meanders of a water stream finding its way through its natural habitat and espousing the contours of its terrain.
Such organic quality is beautifully captured in these photographs by Thomas Demand in which the preparatory models for Grace Farms bear witness to how the entire place was architecturally conceived.
On a mission to epitomize Amazing Grace, Grace Farms certainly achieves the most natural of serenity.
Visit Grace Farms in all seasons, all info are available here. And if you think of an architecture or art lover who would enjoy it, thank you for sharing.
© 2018 Ingrid Westlake
All pictures by Ingrid Westlake, unless otherwise stated.
Very nice and interesting place! Thank you Ingrid. Nat
It’s superb and so peaceful! Glad you liked it😘
At last — more and more soft lines, curves, and circular elements being used in architectural design. I have waited to see this for decades. Beautiful!
I agree with you: curvature makes nature shine at Grace Farms!
Curves and multitude silvered glass cubs make nice effects..From the top it seems a surprising snake path!
Absolutely, the buildings undulate down a gentle hill and were built to respect the natural site, integrated within the terrain. SANAA even refers to them as the River Building, so there is definitely this effect of following a path. Thanks for reading!
Ingrid, reading your post and looking at this amazing architecture and art felt as recharging and serene as a meditation session in nature. I love your writing, it puts such a glowing, warm light on these experiences.
Your words go straight to my heart, Gabriela! Thank you. I am so glad this post felt like a meditation session as Grace Farms is truly a wonderful place for exactly this: taking the time to breathe, paying attention to the landscape and hopefully leaving some trouble and stress behind.
I am glad I managed to transmit a bit of this sensation through the pictures and blog as I have seen so much on this trip, I have almost too much to reflect upon. Is that even possible?😉
A lot of peace and quiet felt on reading this post !
The integration of curves, the transparency of forms in a green and hilly nature, encourages meditation.
I would have liked to sit in the “Chair by Kazuyo Sejima & Ryue Nishizawa”.
Dear Marie-Annick, I am so glad this post brought you some peace of mind. It’s definitely the objective and philosophy of Grace Farms… and we can all do with some of this!
[…] No wonder Junya Ishigami started with architecture firm SANAA. His architectural projects have a similar organic character you will probably recognized if you’ve read my previous blog post on Grace Farms, CT. […]