Institute of Contemporary Art Boston / by Michelle Linden

C & I had the opportunity to visit Diller Scofidio and Renfro's new ICA in Boston this winter when we were home visiting my parents. [Please pardon the dreadful photo... as you can see, it was a really dreary day.] We were pretty excited to get to the museum... looking forward to seeing one of DS's few built structures and always excited to see a new art collection.

The day we visited, the museum was packed (kid's day shortly after the grand opening). After standing in line for about an hour, we were finally able to enter the exhibits... if we could find them. There were two glass elevators giving access to the upper floors (which is where all the galleried are located) and one was broken. So, we started hoofing it up the stairs with everyone else.

The layout of the museum reminded me quite a bit of the Seattle Public Library by Rem Koolhaas. For all the expensive wayfinding, it was very difficult to navigate. More than once, we left the stair only to find all of the spaces on that floor empty or closed. However, once we finally reached the top floor, we were able to wander through the galleries with relative ease. I was excited by what was being shown, including the architecture.... [For more on the architects' intent see Arcspace]

The digital media center's viewfinder was quite spectacular, as was the viewing wall of the long gallery. I'd like to go back on a day that wasn't quite so overcast, but you could still imagine what the views could be. Having said that... I must admit that I was extremely disappointed with the craftsmanship of the interior spaces. I'm not sure if the contractor ran out of time or the ICA ran out of money, but the interiors looked like they'd been crafted by a junior high shop class instead of a quality contractor that you'd expect on a project like this.

Still, I would absolutely recommend a visit to the ICA, and will surely be returning next time I'm home visiting the fam.