MKDA team members from the New York and Stamford offices recently toured Grace Farms and the Glass House in New Canaan, CT. We were fortunate to visit these sites on a crisp, sunny day – with vibrant blue skies, lush greenery and fall foliage in full swing – which allowed us to truly immerse ourselves into the stunning natural landscapes. The two iconic buildings and grounds are beacons of modern architecture, each pushing the limits of the built environment and serving as a canvas for inspiration, experimentation, and innovation.
MKDA found so much design inspiration touring these influential locations and we look forward to incorporating some of the creative concepts and solutions into our projects. A special thank you to Grace Farms and The Glass House for having us!
Our team kicked off the day at Grace Farms, an 80-acre cultural and humanitarian center with an interdisciplinary focus on the arts, nature, and social justice. The renowned River Building, designed by Japanese architecture firm SANAA and named as a “favorite building of the decade” in Cultured magazine, seamlessly blends into its landscape, with the express purpose of drawing attention to the surrounding natural beauty rather than to the structure itself. As a result, Grace Farms primarily provides its visitors with a curated experience, with the building’s expansive roof meant to guide users through a number of different rooms and activities. Some of these areas include a welcome reception and conversation space with tea service; a community gathering space with 18-foot long tables; a well-stocked library; and a recreation space with basketball courts.
In the afternoon, the MKDA team traveled to Phillip Johnson’s The Glass House, a historic and architecturally significant project, which was a pioneer in its use of materials, proportions and overall space-planning. Similarly, the house’s emphasis on minimalist design principles and indoor-outdoor connectivity continues to have a major influence today across all sectors of the design industry. After receiving a tour of the house and taking in breathtaking panoramic views of the pastoral scenery, we viewed the two art galleries on site – one built underground with an extensive collection of paintings and another impressive building displaying a range of sculptures.