The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) is the first museum of Boston in the last one hundred years. The 65,000 square feet building includes temporary and permanent galleries, a 330 seat multi-purpose theater, bookstore, education/workshop facilities, a restaurant, and administrative offices. It straddles the competitive objectives of a dynamic civic building for public programs and an intimate, contemplative environment for viewing art.
The site is certain on two sides by the Harbor Walk, a 47–mile public walkway. The Harborwalk is also been used as a civic surface that extends up to create the public grandstand, flattens into the theater stage, and wraps the surfaces of the theater extending into a horizontal receptacle that holds the gallery and shelters the grandstand.
A choreographed passage through the building dispenses the visual context in low doses. Upon entry, the view is compressed below the belly of the arena, then scanned by the glass elevator, used as a variable scene within the theater, denied entirely within the galleries, and discovered as a panorama at the crossover gallery. The mediatheque suspended below the cantilever edits the context from view, deed solely the feel of water. Perry Dean Rogers and Partners are the executive architects of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston.