Project History

In 1999, the city of Boston selected the ICA as the recipient of a site on the waterfront for a new museum that would be the cultural cornerstone of the Fan Pier development. The ICA received the land based both on the critical need for more space to present increasingly popular programming and exhibitions and because of its potential to draw visitors to the waterfront year-round.

The opportunity enabled the ICA to envision a new home with expanded exhibition space, new programming and a permanent collection-all housed within a progressive architectural statement that mirrors the museum's foresight and risk-taking as a leading contemporary art venue.

In 2001, after a rigorous, year-long selection process, the ICA selected Diller Scofidio + Renfro as the architects of the new museum. Their passion and interdisciplinary practice incorporating architecture, performance, and media best reflected the mission of the ICA.

The design for the new ICA was unveiled in 2002 to great critical acclaim. It was included in NEXT: The Future of Architecture, at the 8th Annual International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, and a retrospective of the architects' work at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 2003. The ICA broke ground on Fan Pier in September 2004 and on December 10, 2006, opened the first new art museum built in Boston in nearly one hundred years and the first building by Diller Scofidio + Renfro to be built in the United States.

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