Miami’s newest contemporary art museum opened on December 1 in the Design District, to coincide with Art Basel and Design Miami. Following in the footsteps of the venerable Bass Museum, which reopened in October after years of renovation, the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami unveiled a spectacular new building designed by Madrid-based Aranguren + Gallegos Arquitectos. ICA Miami marks the first US project for the Spanish architectural firm.

ICA Miami’s original home was in the Moore Building nearby, but the historic locale quickly became too small to hold’s the museum’s ever-expanding artistic programs. The new three-story, 37,500-square-foot structure triples the museum’s exhibition space, encompassing six galleries on the ground floor as well as flexible gallery spaces on the second and third floors. The engaging outdoor sculpture garden serves as a venue for site-specific commissions and major sculptural works by both post-war and contemporary artists, while also hosting public and educational programs.

To ensure that the new building is as distinctive as the other magnificent structures populating the Design District, Aranguren + Gallegos Arquitectos created a stunning metal façade with lighted panels and interlocking metal triangles. Cutouts in the façade offer glimpses into the museum’s interior. In back, an all-glass curtain wall allows natural sunlight to pour in, while encouraging visitors to gaze at the landscaped sculpture garden.

The museum’s inaugural program is ambitious and varied, and it includes “The Everywhere Studio,” a thematic survey tracing the impact and influence of the artist’s studio from post-war to the present day. There are also three solo shows by Edward and Nancy Kienholz, Senga Nengudi and Hélio Oiticica, and an exhibition of Robert Gober’s photographs from 1978 to 2000. The museum’s outdoor sculpture garden hosts a sculpture by George Segal, as well as large-scale installations and site-specific commissions by Allora & Calzadilla, Abigail DeVille and Mark Handforth. “The inaugural program of the new ICA Miami represents an expansion of the depth and breadth of our programmatic approach,” says Alex Gartenfeld, deputy director and chief curator.

Best of all, the museum remains free of charge, as it upholds its mission to make contemporary art accessible to everyone. “We are thrilled to unveil ICA Miami’s new permanent home in December and to sustain our commitment to free general admission, inviting the entire community to engage with our dynamic inaugural program,” says Ellen Salpeter, director of ICA Miami.


Featured Image: Exterior of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. Photo by Iwan Baan.