December is a good month for Miami; the creative crowds flock to the Florida capital to bask in the winter sun and take in the cultural treats that the season’s fairs, such as Design Miami and Art Basel Miami Beach, have to offer. Kicking off the festivities this year is the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami, which has just unveiled its new home by Aranguren + Gallegos Arquitectos – the Spanish firm’s first foray into the US.
The ICA’s bespoke new building was designed by the architects to reflect its ‘commitment to the contemporary and to serving and engaging with its community’, as well as provide a platform for the exchange of art and ideas, they explain. Located in the heart of the Miami Design District, the generous 37,500 sq ft building has tripled the museum’s exhibition area.
A constellation of metal triangles and glass panels, the structure is light and inviting. A generous lobby leads to a sculpture garden at the back, as well as up to the first floor galleries. The shows are spread across three levels, in rooms flexible enough to accommodate different types of exhibits. A glazed wall is strategically placed to bring into the halls plenty of natural northern light. Further space is dedicated to educational and community programming.
The Madrid-based architects are no strangers to designing for the arts, as their portfolio already includes works such as the Museo ABC in Madrid, the National Visual Arts Center in Madrid, and the Archeological Museum of Córdoba. Here, true to form, the firm aimed to create an integrated experience for the visitor, which combines modern art and architecture, as well as some striking views of the Miami cityscape.
Tracing the history and legacy of the artist’s studio, the ICA Miami launches with an exhibition that focuses on this most fascinating of spaces, spanning the post-war period, through to the present day.