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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

Institute for Contemporary Art

Explore more Award Winners

2013
Award of MeritBuildings Over 1,000SqM
Location
Brooklyn, New York
Firm
SHoP Architects, New York
Team
Nadine Berger, Christopher Lee, Adam Modesitt and Ayumi Sugiyama of SHoP Architects, and John Cerone and Brian Sweeney of SHoP Construction
2015
WinnerBuildings Over 1,000SqM
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Firm
ohn Wardle Architects with NADAAA of Boston
2020
Award of MeritBuildings Over 1,000SqM
Location
Nanterre, France
Firm
LAN, France