NEW CANAAN, Conn. – A model of the new River building at Grace Farms in New Canaan, designed by the architecture studio SANAA, is on display at The Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan as part of the new exhibition, “A Japanese Constellation: Toyo Ito, SANAA, and Beyond.”
The exhibition, which opened last week, features the work of a multi-generational group of Japanese architects whose radical aesthetics and ideas of the experience of space and nature bring contemporary architecture to the level of art. The exhibition showcases a 1:200 scale model of the River building, featuring a hand-sculpted Douglas fir base, which mimics the topography of the 80-acre grounds, and matches the material used by the architects to create curvilinear canopies. Additional features include relief cut paths, paddocks and a laser-cut aluminum roof, which mirror-reflects the delicate trees placed around it.
“SANAA’s model of the Grace Farms project in ‘A Japanese Constellation’ shows the project as a culmination of Sejima and Nishizawa’s two decades of musing on how to make architecture disappear into nature,” said Sharon Prince, Grace Farms Foundation president, who joined the architects and curators for a preview of the show last week.
The exhibition focuses on architects Toyo Ito, Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA, and a group of colleagues who have been influenced by them. It was conceived by Pedro Gadanho, former curator in the Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA, who is now director of the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon. The group shares an architectural language that explores transparency, structural lightness, and non-hierarchical ways of organizing space.
“A Japanese Constellation” will be on view at MoMA through Monday, July 4.
Grace Farms Foundation is a private operating foundation established in New Canaan in 2009 to support initiatives in the areas of the arts, justice, community and faith. Supported by individual gifts and program revenues, the foundation carries out its work through the facilities and programs of Grace Farms, an 80-acre property owned by the foundation.