Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) announced that it will break ground in June on the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA), a combination exhibition and performance space, laboratory and incubator for the presentation of visual art, theater, music, dance and film by nationally and internationally recognized artists.
The ICA, anticipated to open in 2016, is being built at the prominent corner of Broad and Belvidere streets within Richmond’s newly designated Downtown Arts District, forming a gateway to the university and the city. The ICA will be a non-collecting institution that will present an array of different media and practices, mirroring the cross-disciplinary approach at the VCU School of the Arts.
“This institute will also be a significant beacon in Richmond in terms of economic and cultural development and bringing the arts community from around the world to our great city,” said VCU President Michael Rao. “The ICA will help put Richmond on the global map as an arts destination.”
Sited at the edge of the Virginia Commonwealth University campus in Richmond, Virginia, the new Institute for Contemporary Art will link the University with the surrounding community. On the busiest intersection of Richmond at Broad and Belvidere Streets, the building will form a gateway to the University with an inviting sense of openness.
The main entrance is formed by an intersection of the performance space and forum, adding a “Z” component to the “X-Y” movement of the intersection. The torsion of these intersecting bodies is joined by a “plane of the present” to the galleries in “forking time.”
The idea of “forking time” suggests that in the world of contemporary art there are many parallel times. The notion of one ongoing time and its “grand narrative” of history is questioned. The new Institute for Contemporary Art is organized in four galleries, each with a different character.
With its inviting double-fronted forum opening to a serene sculpture garden, the 38,000 sq ft building will provide spatial energy for the most important cutting-edge contemporary art exhibits. Propelled by VCU’s top-ranked School of the Arts, the ICA’s architecture is an instrument for exhibitions, film screenings, public lectures, performances, symposia, and community events, engaging the University, the city, and beyond.
Location: Richmond, VA, USA
Architect: Steven Holl
Design Architect: Steven Holl, Chris McVoy
Project Architect: Dimitra Tsachrelia
Project Team: Garrick Ambrose, Rychiee Espinosa, Scott Fredricks, Gary He, Martin Kropac, Jongseo Lee, Yasmin Vobis, Christina Yessios
Associate Architects: BCWH Architects
Structural Engineer: Robert Silman Associates
Mechanical Engineer: Arup
Landscape Architect: Michael Boucher Landscape Architecture
Lighting Consultant: L’Observatoire International
Audio/Visual Consultant: Convergent Technologies Design Group, Inc.
Building Area (Square): 32000 sf
Status: design development
Year project: 2011
Year Realization: 2016
Article by Marco Rinaldi