culture / design / people

Steven Holl to Design VCU Art Museum

Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond has officially announced that internationally famed architect, Steven Holl,  will be the design architect for the new VCU Art Museum. This has been rumored for several months now. Soon we’ll learn who the local architect will be. The press release is as follows:

VCU Set to Hire Architect for New Arts Institute

By Karin Kapsidelis Richmond Times Dispatch

Published: May 20, 2011

Virginia Commonwealth University’s plan to build a $19.3 million gallery to showcase the works of its top-ranked arts school is about to enter the design phase. The board of visitors’ finance committee Thursday approved the hiring of Steven Holl Architects to design and also help solicit donations for the Institute for Contemporary Art, which is to be built with private funds. The $2.8 million contract is expected to be approved today by the full board, which also will set tuition rates for the next academic year. VCU will be the last of the public institutions to adopt rates, following Thursday’s decision by the State Board for Community Colleges to increase tuition and fees by 8.7 percent. The 32,000-square-foot arts institute will be built at the southwest corner of Broad and Belvidere streets on property owned by the VCU Real Estate Foundation that is currently used for surface parking. The institute will provide gallery space for traveling and school exhibits, as well as house offices, an archival study area and an auditorium. The center will become “the gateway to the university from the east,” said board member Stuart C. Siegel, chairman of the finance, investment and property committee. Brian J. Ohlinger, associate vice president of facilities management, described Holl as a “cultural architect” internationally known for his work on art galleries and museums. Ohlinger said the request for proposals for the arts institute drew responses from 64 firms, the most for any VCU project. Nine firms were interviewed. Holl’s projects include a center for performing arts being built at Princeton University and the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki, Finland. Ohlinger said the firm will create a brochure to assist with fundraising as an initial step and then work on schematic designs for the facility. The project is ‘”funding dependent,” he said, so the construction timetable is contingent on the success in fundraising.

Update 05.29.11 | BCWH Architects of Richmond, will be the local architect for the project. They have extensive experience in cultural, institutional, and educational projects, and already have an established working relationship with VCU.

Update 04.24.12 | VCU Releases an image of the proposed design in the Time Dispatch.

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