The ICA is the first museum to be built in Boston in 100 years. The 65,000 sq ft building includes temporary and permanent galleries, a 330 seat multi-purpose theater, a restaurant, bookstore, education/workshop facilities, and administrative offices. It straddles the competing objectives of a dynamic civic building for public programs and an intimate, contemplative environment for viewing art. The site is bound on two sides by the Harbor Walk, a 47-mile public walkway at the water¹s edge reclaimed from Boston¹s industrial past. The ICA offers the city some of its ground floor footprint in exchange for rights to cantilever over city property with an 18,000 sq ft uninterrupted, sky lit gallery. The Harbor Walk is used as a civic surface that extends up to form the public grandstand, flattens into the theater stage, and wraps the surfaces of the theater extending into a horizontal tray that holds the gallery and shelters the grandstand. The building’s public spaces are thus built from the ground up and private contemplative spaces, from the sky down. The waterfront is both a great asset for the museum and a distraction from its inwardly focused program. A choreographed passage through the building dispenses the visual context in small doses. Upon entry, the view is compressed under the belly of the theater, then scanned by the glass elevator, used as a variable backdrop in the theater, denied entirely in the galleries, and revealed as a panorama at the crossover gallery. The digital media gallery suspended under the cantilever edits the context from view, leaving only the mesmerizing texture of water. Perry Dean Rogers acted as Associate Architect.