It is located in the open space of the newly developed city harbor. Boston was once a port city, but then its coastal areas lost their former economic importance, and then were separated from the rest of the metropolis by highways. But in the 1990s, this highway was hidden under the ground, and the city authorities faced the question of developing a desolate coastal strip. In 2000, it was decided, along with residential and office buildings, to build there a new complex of the Institute of Contemporary Art, which has existed since 1936. In 2004, construction began, and, by chance, in 2006 the museum stands alone on the ocean shore: so far it has not even been possible to start the construction of at least one structure from the planned commercial development.
The huge building of the museum, for the most part - glazed, attracts attention with a block protruding 25 meters forward, which, it seems, is holding nothing in the air (in fact, it is fixed by four steel trusses hidden in the main volume of the building). This console houses the exhibition galleries, the only museum premises without panoramic windows overlooking the sea. They are illuminated through openings in the ceiling, which are covered with a sun-filtering cloth. From them you can get into the media library - a room equipped with computers, where visitors can view the museum's collections in digital form. Its floor is inclined, and the room itself ends with a glass wall, from where the water is visible: only waves, no coast, no horizon. Outside, the media library protrudes from the gallery block below, like a half-opened hatch.
Just as important as the exhibition halls are the lower levels of the museum building. Visitors can enter through a door in the corner of the glass-fronted lobby, which also overlooks the sea. From there you can take a huge - also glass - elevator the size of a panel truck up to the galleries, or just to the second floor, to the theater.
But, if you wish, you can enter the institute and bypass the lobby. Open wooden stands, which look like a giant staircase, are facing the sea, along which one can immediately climb to the level of the auditorium. From them you can look inside through the glass wall - this transparent barrier serves as a backdrop for the theater stage. The theater itself is designed for 325 seats, and if the performance requires isolation from the outside world, its walls can be closed with blinds.
The restrained and at the same time original architecture of the Institute of Contemporary Art "Diller Scofidio + Renfro" seems very different from those museums that are now emerging all over the world: bright and poorly coordinated with the works of art stored in them. The new Boston building is both a decoration of a renewed urban area, and a public space for the leisure of residents, and a cultural center, and the most functional.