VCU’s Institute for Contemporary Art breaks ground

On June 3rd VCU’s Dean of the Arts, Joe Seipel, clad in a safety vest and hard hat removed a chunk of pavement from the parking lot, marking the official start of construction on Virginia Commonwealth University’s Institute for Contemporary Art.  Steven Holl, the ICA’s lead architect was quoted as saying, “It’s a birth,” of something that will serve as a beacon of art and culture at the corner of one of Richmond’s busiest intersections.  More than 350 donors came together to fund the ICA at VCU.

BCWH is serving as the Associated Architect with Steven Holl, working collaboratively to complete the new 43,000 square foot building by Spring of 2016. The ICA will include forum space, four main galleries that can host large exhibitions split among the galleries or separate exhibitions in each gallery, along with a 250-seat auditorium, a sculpture garden, a cafe, and a courtyard.

The ICA’s exterior walls will be sheathed in pre-weathered satin-finish zinc. Additional clear- and translucent-glass walls will allow natural light into the building during the day; in the evening it will radiate light, revealing the activities within. With nearly 40,000 square feet of flexible space, the ICA will showcase changing exhibitions of contemporary art and ongoing public programs, performances, and films from around the world. The building will have two entrances leading into an inviting, 33-foot-high forum. One entrance will open up to the city and the other towards VCU’s Monroe Park campus, welcoming both community and university participation in the ICA.

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