Tour: Institute for Contemporary Arts at VCU

East facade from West Broad Street.

Steven Holl Architects' latest museum, the Institute for Contemporary Art's Markel Center, has opened on the campus of Virginia Commonwealth Universityin Richmond, Virginia. 

Looking up at the performance space volume.

The centerpiece of the design is the 33 foot high forum located at the intersection of West Broad Street and North Belvidere Street. Off of this main forum volume, visitors can access the 240-seat auditorium, sculpture garden, and the four contemporary art galleries that fork into multiple volumes along West Broad Street.

Looking up at the forum and performance space volumes intersection.

Pre-weathered titanium zinc, the primary cladding material, was selected for its environmental friendliness as a 100% recyclable material and its flexibility in cladding the curved shapes of the museum.

Northeast corner from West Broad Street.

Other sustainable features of the design include the use of 7,500-square-feet of green roofs on three of the four galleries and the use of geothermal wells for the central heating/cooling system. The wells are drilled down to approximately 460 feet and use the earth as a heat source in the winter and a heat sink in the summer for the building's climate control system.

Sculpture Garden

North entry.

Northwest corner at the sculpture garden.

Entry door hardware detail.


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South entry.

Ground Floor Gallery

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Stair railing detail.

Sculpture Terrace Garden

Second Floor Galleries

Third Floor Gallery

Performance Space



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Architect: Steven Holl Architects with BCWH Architects; Structural Engineer: Robert Silman Associate; Mechanical Engineers: Arup, OLDS; Landscape: Michael Boucher Landscape Architect; Client: Virginia Commonwealth University; Program: Museum; Location: Richmond, VA; Completion: Spring 2018.