Essences of Japanese Architecture in Connecticut?

Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in Architecture, Blog

In visiting the Grace Farms in New Canaan,Connecticut, if you are expecting a typical American farm, such as the ones you see in the “Little House on the Prairie” (; I love that old TV series), then you might be dissapointed.

But if you admire a life in the nature, like the one used to be seen in American farms, and hope to live it even for a day, then this is the place for you to go.

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The River Building at Grace Farms was just completed in October, 2015.  Designed by the internationally renowned Japanese architects,  SANAA, it contains some spatial essences that are unique to traditional Japanese architecture. One of them is the openness toward and the sense of unitity with the nature.

Shown in the photo is the assembly hall that are also used for mass. Here, people would converse with God while also onversing with Nature. It looks more like a Buddhism temple than a church, therefore, it might be radical architecture from the religious point of view.

But isn’t talking or listening to the nature very humanly thing that no religion will prohibit? I believe it is. And in that sense, SANNA’s design, with Japanese spatial concepts, has found a good place in an American farm.

It just shows that essences of “foreign” architecture could be materialized in the American setting, not because they are fashionably exotic, but there is something universal in them. And here at Penguin Environmental Design, that universality in Japanece space is what we sincerely pursue everyday. (Y)