For immediate release:

Carrie Culpepper
Institute for Contemporary Art
(804) 338-5669


ICA Architect Steven Holl wins 2014 Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award for Architecture

RICHMOND, Va. (July 16, 2013) — Institute for Contemporary Art architect Steven Holl has won the Japan Art Association’s 2014 Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award for Architecture. The awards recognize lifetime achievement in the arts and are one of the most prestigious international prizes awarded in architecture, painting, sculpture, music and theater/film. Holl, who received the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 2012, will be honored with the Praemium Imperiale Award at a ceremony in Tokyo on October 15.

"I'm doubly grateful for this award,” said Holl, “because architecture is part of painting, sculpture, and music, and with this award, the Japan Art Association recognizes all of the arts. Second, because my first chances as an architect and my first publication invitations came from Japan, and my first substantial construction was in Fukuoka, Japan in 1989, so I'm very grateful to come back to Japan for this important award."

Steven Holl Architects is currently working on projects nationally and overseas including the ICA at Virginia Commonwealth University, which broke ground in June.

“We have designed the Institute for Contemporary Art building to be a flexible, forward-looking instrument that can illuminate the transformative possibilities of contemporary art,” said Holl. “Like many contemporary artists working today, the ICA’s design does not draw distinctions between the visual and performing arts. 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.”

Steven Holl Architects has a strong background in designing for the arts. The firm’s other works in construction are the Lewis Center for the Performing Arts at Princeton University and the Visual Arts Building at the University of Iowa. Recently completed works are the Reid Building at The Glasgow School of Art, which opened in April 2014, and the Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle store, which opened in New York in June 2014. Two notable projects Steven Holl Architects has in design are the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, and the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts Expansion.

The 2014 Praemium Imperiale Awards will be presented in Tokyo on October 15. Also being honored are Arvo Pärt (Music), Martial Raysse (Painting), Giuseppe Penone (Sculpture), and Athol Fugard (Theatre/Film). Previous laureates for Architecture include David Chipperfield, Henning Larsen, Toyo Ito, Zaha Hadid, Peter Zumthor, and Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron.

PRESS ROOM: High-res images available at

About the Institute for Contemporary Art

Anticipated to open in 2016, the ICA will be a non-collecting institution dedicated to contemporary visual art, design music, performance and film by nationally and internationally recognized artists. The ICA was designed by Steven Holl Architects to facilitate the way artists are working today by accommodating the increasing lack of barriers among different media and practices, mirroring the cross-disciplinary approach at the VCU School of the Arts. VCUarts is one of the nation’s leading arts schools, with distinguished alumni and noted artists at campuses in Richmond and Qatar, and has long been the top public university graduate arts and design program in the country according to U.S. News & World Report. The ICA will complement and enhance the offerings of VCU while also serving as a new destination for contemporary arts and culture in the region and a cornerstone of Richmond’s Downtown Arts District. The ICA has raised more than $31M to date towards its capital campaign goal of $35M. A $20M endowment campaign is ongoing.

Located directly off Interstate 95 and at one of Richmond’s busiest intersections, the ICA will form a gateway to the university and the city. The ICA will feature dual entrances — one facing Richmond and the other fronting VCU’s campus. At the heart of the building will be an inviting, double-height “forum,” a flexible space for both spontaneous encounters and planned events that connects to the ground-floor performance space and opens to the garden and cafe. The galleries radiate out from the forum in forked arms, shaping the space of the garden. The open circulation serves to remove the formal protocols associated with entering traditional arts facilities. The three levels of galleries are linked through the open forum, allowing artists to create works that extend across, and visitors to circulate through, the spaces via a variety of paths. The ICA's exterior walls of pre-weathered, satin-finish zinc will complement its urban setting. Additional clear and translucent glass walls will create transparency, bringing natural light into the building during the day and radiating light at night, signaling the activities taking place within.

About VCU and the VCU Medical Center

Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located in downtown Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 31,000 students in 222 degree and certificate programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-seven of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University comprise the VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see