Forward-Thinking Design at VCU

Categories:

Company:

Project:

The ICA at VCU

Location:

Richmond, Va.

Design Team:

Steven Holl Architects

Product Specs:

1.75-mm Blue-Gray prePATINA

Originally Published:

The Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) will bring the most contemporary art exhibits in the world to the VCU campus and the city of Richmond.

Challenge: 

Located in the striking new Markel Center and designed by renowned architect Steven Holl, the ICA offers 41,000 sq. ft. of flexible space including an inviting 33-ft. high central forum. It features a dynamic slate of changing exhibitions, performances, files and interdisciplinary programs.

Influence: 

In keeping with VCU’s master sustainability plan, the ICA incorporates state-of-the-art technologies and environmentally conscious design elements and makes use of numerous natural resources.

Criteria: 

“We designed the ICA to be a flexible, forward-looking instrument that will both illuminate and serve as a catalyst for the transformative possibilities of contemporary art. The fluidity of the design allows for experimentation and will encourage new ways to display and present art that will capitalize on the ingenuity and creativity apparent throughout the VCU campus,” says Steven Holl. The project is designed to meet LEED Gold Certification standards, according to Steven Holl Architects.

Solution: 

The exterior for the contemporary design is highlighted with 28,000 sq. ft. of Rheinzink roof and wall panels. According to Steven Holl Architects, “The prePATINA blue-gray Rheinzink exterior interfaces with clear and translucent glass walls and skylights that infuse the building with natural light and lessen reliance on nonrenewable energy. The zinc shares the same greenish-gray tonality as the matte glass, giving the building a shifting presence from monolithic opaque to multifarious translucent depending on the light.”

The custom cassette panels were designed and fabricated by Rheinzink systems partner A. Zahner Co. of Kansas City, Mo. The open joint metal panel rainscreen system utilized 1.75-mm panels.

According to Zahner project manager John Owens, “The 1.75-mm zinc is a little heavier than normal but that is what the architect wanted.” Zahner provided 1,200 total panels, of which 200 were curved. “We cut those panels radially as needed to fit the curved aluminum frame. All of that fabrication was done in our shop.”

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