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Distinctively Designed Markel Center Opens at VCU

RICHMOND, Virginia — The new $41 million Markel Center, home for the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) at Virginia Commonwealth University, opened April 21 with “Declaration,” an exhibition exploring themes of protest and social injustice with a mix of projects in a variety of media.

The 41,000-square-foot center includes a 33-foot-high central atrium, a state-of-the-art 240-seat auditorium, classrooms, fabrication workshop, cafe bar and sculpture garden in addition to its gallery space, one of which also includes 33-foot-high walls.

The distinctive Steven Holl design is a mix of fritted glass and pre-weathered zinc with strategically placed windows and skylights to provide plenty of interior natural light.

The four green roofs planted with native vegetation will absorb stormwater and increase insulation.

Located at the intersection or Richmond’s historic Belvidere and Broad streets, the ICA will provide a striking new gateway to the city, with dual entrances opening to the city’s arts district on one side and university’s Monroe Park campus on the other side.

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