Architecture People & Places


SANAA • New Canaan, Connecticut

SANAA has designed The River, a glass-and-steel community building in New Canaan, Connecticut.  Image: SANAA
"The River" will be a new spiritual and community center building, in New Canaan, Connecticut, designed by Japanese firm SANAA for the Grace Farms Foundation. The firm's designs for the sinuous building were recently submitted to the local planning and zoning commission for review.

The building is designed as a continuous sequence of glazed pavilions connected by covered breezeways all unified by a single, curvaceous roof that winds around the one-acre (0.4-hectare) building site on the 75-acre (30.4-hectare) grounds of Grace Farms. Near one end, the River contains a space that will serve as the sanctuary for Grace Community Church. Other spaces will accommodate a range of community center functions, including a library, dining room, gymnasium, and spaces for children.
Overview of the sanctuary space of The River. Image: SANAA

The 50-to-60-million-dollar building's material palette will include glass, wood, steel, and concrete. The River's landscape was designed by Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based OLIN.

The Grace Farms site, formerly approved for a 10-lot residential subdivision, was approved in 2008, by the local zoning and planning body, for the community-center use case. A ruling on the building's design and site plan is expected by the end of 2012.

Another glass-walled pavilion of The River. Image: SANAA

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