Institute for Contemporary Art, Markel Center
Richmond, Virginia
Virginia Commonwealth University

In collaboration with design architect Steven Holl Architects, our team delivered a mix of exhibition and performance, lab and incubator spaces to support the visual and performing arts, that connect students to the region's art community. Forming a gateway to the university’s Monroe Park campus, the Markel Center is a dynamic space for contemporary art and a prominent link between the campus and downtown Richmond. An active experience of movement in time in the sculpture garden and outdoor plazas welcomes students and visitors into the building. Inside, we used the neutral backdrop of exposed concrete floors and ceilings to feature art. A myriad of unique exhibit and performance spaces, envisioned by our team, provide built-in flexibility to accommodate up to four separate exhibitions.

The Solution


  • Merit Award, American Institute of Architects, Virginia
  • Merit Award, American Institute of Architects, New York
  • Honor Award, American Institute of Architects, Richmond
  • Best Placemaking, Golden Hammer Awards
  • Project of the Year, Architizer International
“With its striking design…Virginia Commonwealth University’s Institute for Contemporary Art is not your average collegiate gallery. [It] has given art and architecture buffs new cause to visit the institute’s hometown.”
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“In various ways—including outreach, curation, and even architectural design— the ICA hopes to bridge art and community-building by promoting public participation in the creative and interpretive process.”

Project Team

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