In 2010, Grace Farms Foundation
, selected the Pritzker Prize winning Japanese architectural firm SANNA
to bring to life their vision for a flourishing place and multi-purpose building where visitors could get close to nature, explore the arts, pursue justice, be part of a community, and explore faith, Grace Farms
. The building would blend effortlessly into the landscape with minimal interference, taking advantage of the landscape and its topography. Basically it is a single long roof that meanders its way across the landscape connecting all-glass rooms, some very large, others on a smaller scale. The structures are made of glass, concrete, steel, and wood. Grace Farms is a non-profit center dedicated to advancing faith, nature, arts, community and justice initiatives. The center is owned and managed by Grace Farms Foundation, a private organization, which encourages individuals and institutions to collaborate for good at the local, national, and global level. The 80 acre site also includes a walking trail and 75 of the acres are left in a native state made up of hills, meadows, ponds and wetlands. The River, as it is called, has five main structures:
•The Court, a multi-purpose recreational/gym and event space. It is below ground level but it’s surrounded on all sides by glass.
•The Pavilion. The smallest glass-enclosed volume of the River buildings. It is a space where people are welcome to relax, drink tea and have a conversation with others.
•The Commons, a central community gathering place where fresh food and beverages are available for purchase for lunch or for a light snack.
•The Library, with all glass walls is a space where one can read, study, hold a meeting in the small conference room, work or relax near the fireplace during winter months.
•At the top of the River you’ll find the Sanctuary. It’s a 700-seat indoor amphitheater that naturally slopes downhill. From the seats one can see the expansive views of Grace Farms’ natural landscape. Performances, lectures, workshops and a variety of activities are held here.
All under one long winding roof surrounded by beautiful nature. The River!
My blog about Grace Farms with many more details about the buildings and the landscape can be found here