Posts tagged with "New Canaan":

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Philip Johnson’s Sculpture Gallery gets a renovation worthy of the original

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Philip Johnson’s property in New Canaan, Connecticut, is synonymous with his iconic Glass House, but the Sculpture Gallery of 1970 is worthy of pilgrimage itself. “This is still the single best room that I have ever designed,” Johnson said of the gallery in a 1991 interview for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
  • Facade Manufacturer PPG (glass); Oldcastle (skylight system); National Cathode (lighting)
  • Architects Philip Johnson Alan Ritchie Architects
  • Facade Installer Nicholson & Galloway
  • Facade Consultants n/a
  • Location New Canaan, CT
  • Date of Completion 2017
  • System aluminum extrusion system and glass skylighting
  • Products Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope® BMS-3000 skylight system
Incorporating the influence of Greek architecture, the Sculpture Gallery is an interplay of intersecting angles set within a sloped landscape, capped with a glass ceiling supported by tubular steel rafters that cast dramatic shadows on the work inside. As the years wore on, the original roof began to leak, damaging the lighting and heating systems and staining the building’s tubular steel skeleton. Restoration was needed, and as part of that effort, Ted Hathaway, a member of the Glass House Advisory Council and president of Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope (the most significant benefactor of the Glass House site since its opening in 2007), donated a new aluminum extrusion system and glass skylighting. The restoration tackled numerous issues, like bringing the skylight up to contemporary standards while respecting Johnson’s original intent. “The Sculpture Gallery is renowned for the shadow pattern that is produced on the interior of the building on sunny days,” Glass House Director Gregory Sages said. “The glass needed to be upgraded to a laminated product that meets current building code. Maintaining the height and width of the extrusions was essential to replicating the shadow pattern Johnson created.” The factory that created the original glass is no longer in operation, so Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope utilized glass provided by PPG to develop a modern replacement, landing on a 9/16-inch laminated safety glass with quarter-inch Solarcool Gray #2 outboard lite, a clear polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayer, and quarter-inch clear inboard lite. “We were able to find an exact match that is reflective from the outside and transparent from the inside,” Sages said. Though the original aluminum could support the new glass, Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope’s BMS-3000 skylight system with stepped-and-overlapped guttering was utilized to prevent further leakage. Matching the original lighting proved a challenge of its own. The team experimented with energy-efficient LED lighting, but was disappointed by the effects. They found the solution with the original supplier, National Cathode, which produced tubes matching the original output volume and color temperature—meaning the restored building will match the original whether the lights are on or off. The success of the project was underscored when original project architect Horst Hahn visited the site, giving it his stamp of approval. Now, just as Johnson put it in that 1991 interview, “the roof then becomes a substitute for the heavens.”
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7,000-square-foot Frank Lloyd Wright home in New Canaan goes on sale

Designed in 1955 for Joyce and John Rayward, this Frank Lloyd Wright house was completed by its second owner Herman R. Shepherd, who purchased the property in 1964. (It's variously known as the John L. Rayward House, Rayward–Shepherd House, or Tirranna, which means "running waters" in the Australian aboriginal language.) The seven-bedroom house extends over almost 7,000 square feet in a hemicycle plan. It abuts the Noroton River and features gardens by Frank Okamura and Charles Middeleer; the latter was the first bonsai curator at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. The house itself features a diverse material palette, from various hardwoods to concrete blocks and gold leaf chimneys, as well as a sprawling collection of amenities: "double master baths, a rooftop observatory with telescope, an interior courtyard, caretakers suite, guest studio, pool, tennis court, large barn and sculpture paths through the woods leading down to the river." Vincent Benic Architect worked to restore the project's exterior envelope in 1999. For more on the property, which is listed for $8,000,000, see its property description here.
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Glass House taps Hilary Lewis as its new Chief Curator and Creative Director

Starting January 17, Hilary Lewis, a scholar of Philip Johnson in addition to her work as an author, journalist, and curator, will be the Glass House chief curator and creative director. In her work, she has focused specifically on Philip Johnson for over 20 years, collaborating with the architect in 1992 and then spending a decade co-authoring the book Philip Johnson: The Architect in His Own Words and The Architecture of Philip Johnson. As a curator, she developed the show and catalogue Philip Johnson: Architecture + Art and was named the Philip Johnson Scholar at the site in 2007. She most recently served on the Glass House’s advisory council. "Having sat side-by-side with Johnson for years, I feel confident that what would honor his and David Whitney's memory most would be for the property to evolve further as a center for the appreciation of architecture, design, and art not just as a museum of Johnson and Whitney's lives in New Canaan," Lewis said in a statement. "It's an honor to have the opportunity to work directly with the Glass House as it looks forward to its second decade of public engagement." The Glass House was built between 1949 and 1995 and is a National Trust Historic site located on 49-acres in New Canaan, Connecticut. In addition to the house itself, the property boasts sculptures and a permanent collection of 20th-century painting and sculpture as well as temporary exhibitions. "Hilary Lewis has influenced the Glass House site since its inception as a public museum. She will be a great addition to a great team. I look forward to her continuing contributions in programming content, visitation alternatives, site interpretation and team management,” said Gregory Sages, executive director at the Glass House. For more information and to learn more about its hours and tour season, check out its website.
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2016 Building of the Year > East: Grace Farms by SANAA

The Architect’s Newspaper (AN)’s inaugural 2013 Best of Design Awards featured six categories. Since then, it's grown to 26 exciting categoriesAs in years past, jury members (Erik Verboon, Claire Weisz, Karen Stonely, Christopher Leong, Adrianne Weremchuk, and AN’s Matt Shaw) were picked for their expertise and high regard in the design community. They based their judgments on evidence of innovation, creative use of new technology, sustainability, strength of presentation, and, most importantly, great design. We want to thank everyone for their continued support and eagerness to submit their work to the Best of Design Awards. We are already looking forward to growing next year’s coverage for you.

2016 Building of the Year > East: Grace Farms by SANAA

Architect: SANAA / Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa Location: New Canaan, CT Submitted by: Grace Farms Foundation

The River, SANAA’s undulating creation for Grace Farms, seeks to marry the nature of its 80-acre New England estate with architecture in an effort to foster the formation of intentional communities that collaborate for good. Made with 203 individually curved glass panels and an anodized aluminum roof, the River’s unusual form follows the property’s natural slope and blends seamlessly into the landscape. Guided by Grace Farms’ dedicated programming in the areas of nature, arts, justice, community, and faith, the structure weaves together five enclosed volumes: an amphitheater-style sanctuary; a library; a commons dining room with tables hewn from trees felled on site; a tea pavilion; and a partially submerged, multipurpose court.

Executive Architects Handel Architects

Project Director Paratus Group Glass Roschmann Steel & Glass CRICURSA Roofing Zahner  Landscape OLIN

Honorable Mention: Building of the Year > East: The Kathleen Grimm School for Leadership and Sustainability

Structural Engineers: Desimone Consulting Engineers Architect: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill Location: Staten Island, NY

As the first net-zero energy school in New York City and among the first worldwide, the Kathleen Grimm School exposes structural elements to celebrate its energy efficiency and foster environmental consciousness and awareness in all building users.

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Yayoi Kusama’s Narcissus Garden at Philip Johnson’s Glass House opens May 1

There is a new art installation at the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut opening this Sunday. The exhibit is called Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden and will feature 1,300 giant reflective floating orbs, each 12 inches in diameter. The spheres by avant-garde and minimalist Japanese-born artist (and writer) Yayoi Kusama will float in a restored pond in the lower meadow, part of the 49 acre Glass House property. "We are honored to be working with Yayoi Kusama, an artist Philip Johnson both admired and collected," said Irene Shum, Curator and Collections Manager at the Glass House, in a statement. "This exhibition playfully engages the entire site, creating a celebratory mood for Philip Johnson's 110th birthday and the 10th year since the opening of this museum." Narcissus Garden was originally created and first installed at the 33rd Venice Biennale in 1966, where Kusama sold globes to people walking by her work for $2. She drew people in with two signs hawking "NARCISSUS GARDEN, KUSAMA" and "YOUR NARCISSIUM [sic] FOR SALE." With Kusama's penchant for neon candy colors and bold shapes (often polka dots, which she believes stands in for our souls) her work is said to have influenced Pop artists, including Andy Warhol. The Glass House will also feature two additional Kusama works on site. One is PUMPKIN (2015). "The first time I saw a pumpkin was in a farm in elementary school. In Japanese, a 'pumpkin head' is an ignorant man or a pudgy woman, but for me, I am charmed by its shape, form, and lack of pretension," Kusama said in a statement. The Glass House will host a third Kusama work: Dots Obsession - Alive, Seeking for Eternal Hope, that is set to cover the Glass House in polka dots September 1-26, 2016. "My desire is to measure and to make order of the infinite, unbounded universe from my own position within it, with polka dots. In exploring this, the single dot is my own life, and I am a single particle amongst billions," said Kusama. "I work with the principal themes of infinity, self-image, and compulsive repetition in objects and forms, such as the steel spheres of Narcissus Garden and the mirrored walls I have created." Narcissus Garden will run through November 30, 2016.
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You’ll want to be in New Canaan on October 9 for the opening of SANAA’s Grace Farms pavilion

Today, the Grace Farms Foundation announced artworks by contemporary artists that will be unveiled for the October 9, 2015, opening of the SANAA-designed pavilion at Grace Farms in New Canaan, CT. The works are a textile work by Olafur Eliasson, an outdoor sound installation by Susan Philipsz; photographs of SANAA’s Grace Farms models by Thomas Demand; and a mural by Teresita Fernandez. Grace Farms is a 75-acre open space with programming focused on nature, arts, community, justice, and faith that will include the purpose-built, 86,000-square-foot multi-use building that snakes through the surrounding woodlands, wetlands, and meadows. The landscape includes walking trails, picnic areas, an athletic field, and food from community purveyors. It was designed by SANAA in collaboration with Philadelphia–based landscape architecture firm OLIN. The list of artists was made in consultation with Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo. “Collaborating with Grace Farms Foundation and SANAA on this project has been highly rewarding,” stated Hasegawa.  “The concept of Grace Farms is unique.  I believe it will serve as a great example of how art, architecture, nature, and meaningful programs can all come together to inspire people.” Eliasson will also produce another site-specific light-based installation, and Beatriz Milhazes will build a collage, both of which will be unveiled in spring 2016. Eliasson explained why he is excited to work at Grace Farms: “I was moved by Grace Farms’ vision of an inclusive, non-commercial space to create a work of art that resonates with the architecture, the surrounding parkland and the people who breathe life into it. My work will offer visitors an ephemeral experience dedicated to embodied spirituality.”
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Henry Urbach leaves directorship of Philip Johnson’s Glass House

Henry Urbach, Director of the Philip Johnson Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, since 2012, has left the National Trust Historic site. Urbach came to the house from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He departed that job in 2011, in part to pursue a research project on the Johnson house, which he classified as “as a laboratory for curatorial experimentation.” As Director, Urbach launched a series of art and architecture installations on the 49-acre property. Urbach, who once had a gallery in New York City that showed architecture as well as art installations and drawings, said he now intends to pursue “research and writing projects.”
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On View> Fujiko Nakaya: Veil at the Philip Johnson Glass House

Fujiko Nakaya: Veil Philip Johnson Glass House 199 Elm Street, New Canaan, CT Through November 30 For its 65th anniversary, Philip Johnson’s Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, is hosting an exhibition by Fujiko Nakaya that utilizes the historic site itself. Veil shrouds the Glass House as well as the surrounding landscape with fog by running fresh water through high-pressure pumps. The fog will be heavily released then dissipated at set time intervals to obscure the visibility of the area and create a unique experience for visitors. Fujiko Nakaya is well known internationally for her consistent usage of fog in her installations. In 1970, Nakaya created the first-ever fog sculpture by enveloping the Pepsi Pavilion at Expo ’70 in Osaka, Japan, in mist. This exhibition is the first of Nakaya’s works to be displayed on the East Coast in the U.S.
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Unveiled> SANAA Meanders Through What Could Have Been a Subdivision

Tokyo-based SANAA has unveiled its next U.S. project, a meandering structure called The River for the Grace Farms Foundation, a faith, arts, and social justice non-profit in New Canaan, CT. Situated on one acre of the 75-acre Grace Farms, the building is defined by its flowing roof that hovers ten feet above the landscape on slender metal posts. Interior spaces are formed by increasing the building's width and enclosing spaces in floor-to-ceiling glass, creating a seamless transition between interior spaces and a landscape designed by Philadelphia-based OLIN. The River descends from a sanctuary space for the Grace Community Church atop a hill and includes a library, meeting space, dining room, gymnasium, and children's spaces along its route. “Our goal with the River is to make the architecture become part of the landscape without drawing attention to itself, or even feeling like a building," said Kazuyo Sejima, principal at SANAA, in a statement. "We hope that those who are on the property will have a greater enjoyment of the beautiful environment and changing seasons through the spaces and experience created by the River.” On Monday, plans for the slender community and spiritual center were submitted to New Canaan’s Planning and Zoning commission for approval and is expected to make a decision by the end of the year. The landscape of meadows, wetlands, lakes, and woods at Grace Farms was preserved from development in 2008 when a 10-house subdivision was once proposed.