Richmond, United States 2017



PROGRAM: gallery spaces, lobby, 247-seat performance space, cafe, administrative offices, classroom, sculpture terrace, art storage spaces.
    SIZE: 41,000 sq ft
STATUS: construction

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 41,000 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.

Watch the building take shape with VCU's construction cam.


  • architect
    • – Steven Holl Architects
    • Steven Holl ( design architect, principal )
    • Chris McVoy ( senior partner in charge )
    • Dominik Sigg ( project architects )
    • Dimitra Tsachrelia ( project architects )
    • Garrick Ambrose, Rychiee Espinosa, Scott Fredricks, Gary He, Martin Kropac, JongSeo Lee, Yasmin Vobis, Christina Yessios (project team)
  • associate architects
    • – BCWH Architects
    • Charles Piper ( partner in charge )
    • Bo Fairlamb ( project manager )
    • Jason Dufilho ( project architect )
  • structural engineer
    • – Robert Silman Associates
  • mechanical engineer
    • – Arup
      – OLDS
  • landscape consultant
    • – Michael Boucher Landscape Architecture
  • lighting consultant
    • – L'Observatoire International
  • audio/visual consultant
    • – Convergent Technologies Design Group, Inc.
  • theater technical consultant
    • – Theatre Projects Consultants