Once you see the River Building, you will know why it was given that name. It is the main building located at Grace Farms in New Canaan, Connecticut. Approximately 77 acres of the former horse farm has been retained as open meadows, woods, wetlands and ponds. The building was designed to make the architecture become part of the landscape and not feel like a building. It flows down on a slope of land (a change in grade of 43 feet) and forms pond-like spaces where it bends.The building is made of glass, concrete, steel and wood. The whole roof’s structure is one single piece, and it twists and turns like a rolling river.
Inside the building are numerous inviting spaces. There is a 20,900 square foot Sanctuary/Amphitheater that holds 700 people. There is a 4,550 square foot Library with resources for nature, the arts, justice and faith. The Commons, which is a community space of 14,400 square feet that holds 300 people. This area has tables that were built from trees harvested from the property, along with sofas, a fireplace and expansive views. The Pavilion is the welcoming reception area where visitors are introduced to Grace Farms. Lastly, there is the Court, a gymnasium/multi-purpose space that is 16,900 square feet. The Court also has an adjoining media lab and game room, for recreation, youth activities, receptions and art performances.
The River building was designed by SANAA, a Tokyo, Japan-based architectural firm that combines the creative talents of Pritzker Prize winning architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa.
Visiting the River Building and the grounds of Grace Farms is free. Well worth a visit for you, your family, and friends.