City Style: Exhibiting Flair
The new ICA is a masterpiece of glass, steel, and sweeping views.
Oh, and there’s art here, too.
The just-opened Institute of Contemporary Art—formerly located on Boylston Street—is as forward-thinking as the art it exhibits. Designed by the New York firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the 65,000-square-foot, four-story building on Fan Pier features two galleries with stark concrete floors, a high-tech art research lab, an 85-seat Wolfgang Puck café, and a glass elevator that’s more spacious than some Beacon Hill studios.
Vivid color abounds in the two-story theater, thanks to 325 tangerine folding seats. The wavelike perforated inner wall, crafted from gypsum and fiberglass, helps enhance acoustics; the theater’s floor and ceiling are made of Santa Maria hardwood from South America—a material found throughout the museum, including the stairwell, accented by a geometric, brightly lit steel banister. In the ultramodern Founders’ Gallery, a 16-foot-tall wall of glass looks out on Boston Harbor.
DON’T MISS: For the first time in its 70-year history, the ICA has a permanent collection. Filled with pieces by international stars like Laylah Ali, Rineke Dijkstra, and Nan Goldin, it’s one worth waiting for. Check out the ongoing “Super Vision” series this winter, in which 27 individual artists explore the idea of “vision without limits” (through 4/29); Sergio Vega’s “Tropicalounge,” which pays homage to the artist’s native South America through bold, bright furniture and sculpture (through 3/11); and performances by the Stephen Petronio Company, which sets modern dance to an original Rufus Wainwright soundtrack (1/12–1/13).
Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave., Boston, 617-478-3100, icaboston.org.