Steven Holl Wins Lifetime Achievement in Architecture Award

Congratulations to ICA architect Steven Holl who has won the Japan Art Association’s 2014 Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award for Architecture. The awards recognize lifetime achievement in the arts and are one of the most prestigious international prizes awarded in architecture, painting, sculpture, music and theater/film.

Holl, who received the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 2012, will be honored with the Praemium Imperiale Award at a ceremony in Tokyo on October 15.

Holl understands how art and architecture will coalesce in VCU’s ICA:

“We have designed the Institute for Contemporary Art building, the Markel Center, to be a flexible, forward-looking instrument that can illuminate the transformative possibilities of contemporary art.

“Like many contemporary artists working today, the ICA’s design does not draw distinctions between the visual and performing arts. The fluidity of the design allows for experimentation, and will encourage new ways to display and present art that will capitalize on the ingenuity and creativity apparent throughout the VCU campus.”

In addition to the ICA, Steven Holl Architects is designing the expansion on the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as well as the expansion of the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.

 

Temporary ICA Offices in the Works

During the two-year construction, the ICA team will take up residence in the VCU Real Estate Foundation-owned former Ramekins restaurant space on Broad Street, next to the gorgeous, new VCUarts Depot building and just a half-block west of the ICA. We’ll be able to keep tabs on construction and host some small events.

To help transform the temporary space ICA Director Lisa Freiman tapped a number of community members for their input, including Sally Schwitters from Tricycle Gardens, Patrick Farley of Watershed Architects, Greg Riggs from Field of Dreams Farm, Julie and Paul Weissend of Dovetail Construction, Peter Fraser of Fraser Design, John Haddad of Slow Food RVA, Ronni McCord of Walter Parks ArchitectsMitzi Lee of VCU Real Estate Services, VCUarts Project Manager Dinkus Deane and VCU student Josh Son. Some of the ideas tossed around include a vertical garden, courtyard entertaining space and modular ICA exhibition inside. Here are some shots from the initial brainstorming and walk-thru. As you can see, we have our work cut out for us.

A special thanks to the VCU Real Estate Foundation for use of the Ramekins space and for their continuing support of the ICA.

Groundbreaking Behind-the-Scenes Shots

Last week paint splashed down on the corner of Broad and Belvidere streets in Richmond marking the beginning of what will transform that corner — and this city. Nearly 350 people gathered for the groundbreaking of the Markel Center, the Steven-Holl-Architects-designed building that will house the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU.

Leaders from Markel Corporation rode two scissor lifts 30 feet up and poured paint in the ICA colors down on a mural created by VCUarts alumnus Ed Trask. Then a giant stencil was pulled back to reveal the ICA logo. Afterwards, VCUarts Dean Joe Seipel broke ground with a giant backhoe to cheers from the crowd of donors, arts and community leaders, students and faculty gathered. Here are some candid shots of the event.

When it opens in 2017, the ICA will be a non-collecting institution focused on presenting a fresh slate of changing, experimental exhibitions, performances, films and programs – both inside and outside the museum – that examine the big issues of our time. This week, construction crews began digging for geothermal wells. Watch on the construction cam.

“Before” Aerial View of the ICA Site

VCU photographer Allen T. Jones got up in a plane the other day and shot this view of the ICA site and the surroundings at Broad and Belvidere streets. Soon the ICA will rise up there on the busiest corner in RVA, with 60,000 cars go by every day. The actual ICA site is that big, boring parking lot near the bottom, left of the frame. On Monday the lot will begin filling with equipment ready to break ground. So I give you “before” — glamorous “after” shot to come in 2017.

Construction Cam Aimed and Ready

In anticipation of next month’s groundbreaking, a VCU Ramcam has been aimed to pan across the ICA site while it’s under construction. We’re looking forward to watching that parking lot transform from gray-asphalt wasteland into a dynamic public space. The video stream can be seen on our About page. The camera will also capture a daily photo which we’ll compile into a time-lapse video of construction when it’s all said and done in 2017.

Shooting the Milkbox Video

Over the last six months, the ICA team has been working with the talented filmmakers at Milkbox studios in New York to create a video that speaks to why we need the ICA and how important it will be in the larger contemporary art world. A big task, to be sure, but we knew Andrew Bordwin and Ed Nammour of Milkbox were up to it. (more…)

Space and Light by Steven Holl

When he lectured at VCU in 2012, the ICA’s architect Steven Holl walked the standing-room-only audience through some of his amazing projects around the world. He said something that stuck with us:

“You want the idea driving the art.” (more…)

Welcome

Welcome to the Institute for Contemporary Art’s behind-the-scenes blog. This is where we’ll fill you in on all it takes to bring this startup to life. We have many things in the works – from planning the details of the building’s interior to aiming a time-lapse camera at the ICA site – and many supporters making them happen. Here’s where we’ll shine a light on those efforts. It takes a village, people. Stay tuned!

“Virginia’s Favorite Architecture” Exhibition at Virginia Center for Architecture

Architects across the state nominated the ICA’s Markel Center for Virginia’s Favorite Architecture, a contest and exhibition organized by the Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects. After voting by the public, the ICA was ranked no. 49 out of 100 structures. An impressive feat considering the ICA’s Markel Center is the only unbuilt structure on a list that includes Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and Virginia state capitol, as well as other widely regarded structures. The exhibition runs through Oct. 19 at the Virginia Center for Architecture.