Boca Raton just stepped it up a notch.
The Center for Arts and Innovation has unveiled an ambitious plan to jazz up and redefine downtown Boca Raton with the selection of Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano to design its forthcoming multimillion-dollar creative campus.
In a groundbreaking partnership, Piano has agreed to lend his unparalleled expertise to this transformative project. The announcement was made at a press conference Wednesday in front of dozens of donors, city leaders and state representatives at the future center site at Mizner Park.
The Center for Arts and Innovation’s extensive architect search process began with 22 privately invited internationally recognized firms, soon narrowed down to 10 finalists, then four before Renzo Piano became what The Center’s Building Committee believed to be the best fit.
Piano is known for his iconic architectural designs worldwide, including The Shard in London, the Menil Collection in Houston, the Rome Auditorium, the Maison Hermès in Tokyo as well as the Morgan Library, the New York Times Building and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.
“We have worked for the last five years to arrive at this milestone moment. The fact that this firm takes two to three commissions at any time in the year just underscores the fact that this project is that enticing to the global market,” said Andrea Virgin, the chairperson and CEO of the arts venue.
The venue is planned to take over the amphitheater area on the north end of Mizner Park in downtown Boca Raton and will be right next to the Boca Raton Museum of Art. The project is expected to break ground in late 2025, Boca Raton’s centennial year, with a planned opening in 2029.
“The Center for Arts and Innovation’s project will not only elevate Boca Raton’s cultural scene but also provide valuable opportunities for education and entrepreneurship,” said Renzo Piano earlier this week. “I am excited to be part of this visionary project that will redefine the city’s identity and contribute to its cultural and technological legacy.”
“Boca Raton is where IBM was born. It is a great city. We need to create a place for people and this is a cultural building for performing space, art and innovation and we are ready to put all of those things together and the architecture will be the final result,” said Antoine Chaaya, the partner in charge of the Renzo Piano Building Workshop.
The campus will encompass cutting-edge performance spaces, an innovation incubator lab, event spaces and educational facilities. The Center plans for six adaptive performance and event spaces—indoor and outdoor—ranging in seating capacity from 99 to 3,500 seats. These can be programmed as individual spaces or combined to host events for nearly 6,000 people.
“Dance, theater, immersive media, digital experiences, the ability to blend the lines between artist and audience. You can expect to see preservation of the past but embracement of the future,” said Virgin.
Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer and local philanthropist Dick Schmidt addressed the crowd explaining the history of arts in Boca Raton and the economic impact the Center will bring to our community. Organizers say once operational, The Center is estimated to create more than $1.3 billion in overall economic impact in the area within its first five years and more than half a million new annual visitors to the city.
“The Boca Chamber has supported the creation of a performing arts center since the first time founder Andrea Virgin shared her impressive vision. Today’s announcement of the world-renowned architectural firm of Renzo Piano Building Workshop demonstrates the commitment to building a world-class facility which will transform the cultural community of Boca Raton for generations to come,” said Troy McLellan, President of the Boca Raton Chamber of Commerce.
Watch video here from the announcement
For more information and to learn how to help support this project or get involved, visit thecenterforartsandinnovation.org
Get to know The Center for Arts and Innovation CEO, Andrea Virgin in Episode 28 of The Paige Kornblue Show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Audible or wherever you find your favorite shows
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