Sitting at one of Richmond’s busiest intersections, on the edge of Virginia Commonwealth University’s downtown campus, Steven Holl’s massing of oblique cuboids into a 3,800-square-metre modern-art institute creates a new link between city and school. The shape is a metaphor for “forking time” and potential new directions in contemporary art. The faceted volumes, which incorporate exhibition galleries, a 240-seat performance space, classrooms, offices, a café and retail space, combine to make a landmark gateway to the campus. At night, white lighting is diffused through the ICA’s translucent glass, making some of the cubes’ facades glow. The intersection of these volumes at odd angles created exciting opportunities for the interior floor plan, which is more fluid than the edgy exterior.
Project Institute for Contemporary Art Location Richmond, Virginia, U.S. Firm Steven Holl Architects, U.S. Team Steven Holl and Chris McVoy with Dominik Sigg, Dimitra Tsachrelia, Garrick Ambrose, Rychiee Espinosa, Scott Fredricks, Gary He, Martin Kropac, JongSeo Lee, Yasmin Vobis, Christina Yessios, Charles Piper, Gilbane, Robert Silman Associates, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Arup, Ascent Engineering Group, Michael Boucher Landscape Architecture, L’Observatoire International, Convergent Technologies Design Group, Theatre Projects Consultants and Sustainable Design Consulting