Published: September 17, 2002
BOSTON, MASS. – The Trustees of The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, has unveiled Diller + Scofidio’s design for a new 62,000-square-foot museum to provide both an exhibition space to showcase works by leading contemporary artists and a center for public performances, educational activities and waterfront access.
The new ICA, located in the Fan Pier waterfront development, is the first art museum to be built in Boston in nearly 100 years.
Central to the design of the four-story museum are the permanent and temporary galleries totaling 18,000 square feet to triple the ICA’s current exhibition space. The galleries, located on the uppermost level, dramatically cantilever over the city’s public HarborWalk toward the water, providing a sheltered open space at ground level where visitors can gather to enjoy views of the Boston Harbor.
The 43-mile HarborWalk — to feature parks, boat ramps, cafes and water transportation facilities at Fan Pier — is a primary architectural element and design inspiration that defines and animates the public spaces of the ICA. Bordering the north and west sides of the building, the HarborWalk intersects and envelops the museum and appears to fold up from the ground into a grandstand of public seating.
Another major design element of the new museum is a 5,300-square-foot performing arts theater with glass walls that face the harbor, providing a backdrop that can be adjusted for light — from transparent to filtered to opaque — to meet particular performance needs.
Diller + Scofidio was selected over three finalists in April 2001, following the ICA’s 12-month review of a broad range of architectural firms from around the world.
In addition to the ICA project, Diller + Scofidio is currently working on The Museum of Art & Technology for Eyebeam in New York; the Brooklyn Academy of Music Cultural District, a master plan in collaboration with Rem Koolhaas; and Facsimile, a permanent installation for the new Moscone Convention Center expansion in San Francisco.
The groundbreaking for the new ICA is scheduled for late 2003 or early 2004. Completion of the museum, which will be Diller + Scofidio’s first major new building project in the United States, is projected for spring 2006. Campaign progress to date, including fundraising and the future sale of the current building on Boylston Street, totals 40 percent toward the $60 million goal.
Founded in 1936, the ICA is one of the oldest museums devoted exclusively to the presentation of contemporary art. ICA, Boston is currently located at 955 Boylston Street.
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