The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston celebrated the opening of its new building, designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, to critical acclaim in 2006. The building houses the permanent collection of the ICA and has held several important exhibitions during the last few years, including work by Tara Donovan, Anish Kapoor, and Shepard Fairey. The museum is free to the public on Thursday nights and hosts events during most other nights of the week.
Designed by Eero Saarinen, the MIT Chapel on Massachusetts Avenue is an amazing example of brick masonry and lighting techniques. It is usually overpassed by MIT tours, but is perhaps one of the most interesting buildings in MIT’s impressive repertoire of famous buildings. The Chapel is open to the public at all times except during services.
Designed by Maki & Associates, the purely white lobby is sliced with primary colored stairs that wrap around the all glass studios. Some of the students’ technology experiments are in the common areas for public use. Don’t miss one of the best views of Boston from the roof deck on the top floor!
Although this isn’t in Boston at all, it is definitely worth the three hour trip out of the city. This renovated electric factory is a maze of varied spaces that hold different contemporary art pieces or installations. A Sol Le Witt retrospective spans three floors, while other galleries contain rotating pieces that may or may not live up to expectations. But the natural lighting and original building materials are what make this museum worth the trip.
Sheila Kennedy and Frano Violich run this small techno-design firm from a converted warehouse space near South Boston. The office has completed projects throughout the United States, but is best known for their work with photovoltaic fabrics. One of their interior projects that can be seen locally is the headquarters for Harvard’s Film and Video department.
Preston Scott Cohen, Inc. is a small academic office run by Scott Cohen in Central Square, Cambridge. The firm has done most of its major projects outside of the United States, with the exclusion of a set of houses, one of which graced the cover of Dwell. Recent projects under construction or completed include the Nanjing Performing Arts Center, the Tel Aviv Museum of Modern Art, and the Taiyuan Museum of Modern Art. Most recently, the work from the office was featured in Mark Magazine.
Pinkcomma is the architectural gallery created by the four partners of over,under, a local architecture firm in Boston. The guys at over,under began pinkcomma as a venue to address the lack of an architectural culture within Boston. Pinkcomma is their effort to invigorate the architecture scene and provide a venue for discourse that lies outside of academia. They hold several exhibits a year on a wide range of architectural topics and use the openings as an excuse to throw parties!