First Concept Design Reveal

First Concept Design Reveal

The first designs for the Boca Raton Center for Arts and Innovation, an arts-oriented destination planned for the city’s burgeoning downtown, were revealed Friday.

The center is in the “very early stages” of the design process, said Antoine Chaaya, the partner in charge of the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, during an unveiling of the design at the Boca Raton Museum of Art.

The project is slated to begin construction at the end of 2025 or early 2026 at the north end of Mizner Park in downtown Boca Raton, and open in 2029 — so long as it meets its fundraising threshold.

The ultimate goal of the design is to create a “collision of activity,” said Joshua Dachs, the project’s theatre and spatial planner.

Andrea Virgin, the center’s chairperson and CEO, envisions the center as an anchor in South Florida, transforming Boca Raton into a premier destination.

This will be achieved by hosting a range of events and a variety of interests in the center, including fashion shows, product launches, book fairs and music events.

To accomplish this, the center’s three-story design currently proposes:

  • Artist studios
  • A multi-functional main venue for events, exhibitions and performances.
  • Covered rooftop terrace offering food and drinks
  • Outdoor piazza
  • Work spaces
  • 360-degree panoramic space hoisted above the center allowing up to 100 people views of the entire city
  • Underground parking

The purpose of Friday’s event was to provide “shapes of where things might be able to go” based on the center’s intentions, Virgin said.

The next six months will involve receiving feedback from city officials any other people or groups who could be impacted by the center.

Virgin said the team will consider factors such as traffic and access as the design moves forward.

So far, the center has been in the works for six years, and it is currently employing a long-term land lease with the city on the site where it will be built, right where the current amphitheater is.

When the project’s architect, Renzo Piano, was announced in September, the total cost for the project was not public, and it remained that way on Friday.

“There’s about a six to eight month process where the city reviews scale, where the donors review scale, where our stakeholders review scale,” Virgin said. “The price could fluctuate quite a bit either direction; we might scale down, we might scale up depending on how the conversations go.”

In Boca Raton alone, the arts generates $25 million and support more than 600 jobs — numbers that are expected to “grow exponentially with the new Center for Arts and Innovation,” said Jennifer Sullivan, the senior vice president of marketing and programs for the Palm Beach County Cultural Council.

According to the center’s website, it will generate more than $1 billion in economic impact and support more than 12,000 jobs.

“We are excited for the future and for the center’s role in underscoring Palm Beach County as Florida’s cultural capital,” she said during the event.