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Welcome: Mayor Stoney
MICHAEL LEASE: I’m Michael Lease; my full title is ICA Director of Facilities, Installation and Exhibition Design. I’ve been here – often wandering around in a hardhat – through all phases of this building’s construction, and the installation of the art. The first thing I wanted you to notice here is that the doorway on Belvidere Street is one of two entrances. Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney points out that the fact that there’s no ‘front door’ to the ICA at the Markel Center, is intentional. 3:05 It’s way to welcome everyone: from the direction of VCU, or from the other direction. General admission is free.
MAYOR STONEY: In Richmond we talk about how our door will always be open and when you come upon this structure, the ICA, I want folks to know that the doors here are open as well. A lot about this job as Mayor is to focus on placemaking: creating a sense of place. The ICA will now bring, I think, everyone… to the …arts district as well becoming a magnet …for all people, from no matter what neighborhood they may live in.
MICHAEL LEASE: He sees that ‘beacon’ in the architecture itself – including the zinc cladding and the tall glass on this side of the building:
MAYOR STONEY: The way the sun shines off it you can see its reflection: not of us at this time but what the city may look like in the future as well. And I think it’s a bold statement of where Richmond can go.
Fountain and Angles
MICHAEL LEASE: There’s a small fountain at this entrance. We’re drawn to water, and moving water is elemental. When you’re close to it, the sound of the water somewhat drowns out the sound of all of the traffic behind you. It prepares you to enter into another space; a space that’s really different from the one that’s outside. And the angled roof over it? That’s the seating for the auditorium inside.