If you’ve ever been to Richmond, Virginia, you quickly realize that Virginia Commonwealth University is the heart and soul of downtown. Its size and population allow life, creativity, and energy to circulate into the city. Even though the university is home to a nationally renowned art school, there still lacks a common space to express this. Besides the VMFA, located roughly a mile and a half way from the campus, there is no real home for art on campus.
That is, until now. It’s been talked about for a while, but VCU has finally released renderings for their new facility.
“Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia has unveiled the design for the ‘institute for contemporary art’
by new york-based practice Steven Holl Architects. The 38,000 square foot center will contain program to facilitate visual art,
theater, music, dance and film performances for both the academic and public audiences. Positioned at the intersection of
Belvidere and Broad Street, the building will address the corner and campus with two main entrances. Outdoor plazas and
a sculpture garden transition from the urban context.
The interior features an auditorium which accommodates 247 seats along with exhibition areas and incubator spaces. A cafe,
classrooms and offices complete the program, with the intention of forming an educational and cultural resource for the city.
Three stories of galleries radiate within forked arms shaping the garden arrangement. Accessed through large pivoting doors,
the ground level boundary is blurred to create a seamless circulation from inside to outside. Translucent glass walls introduce
natural daylight while the pre-weathered satin finish zinc panels enclose the rest of the structure.” – via DesignBoom
All images courtesy of Steven Holl Architects.