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Name   Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Architects   SAFDIE, MOSHE 
Date   2012
Address   Bentonville, Arkansas, USA
Floor Plan   18600 SQ.M.

The design for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art grows out of a consideration for its extraordinarily beautiful, pastoral site, situating a collection of delicate pavilions nestled into the sloping terrain of a forested site. The pavilions span a ravine to create two ponds, forming a backdrop to the community and educational spaces. The complex positions art and nature side by side, and includes a network of gardens, courtyards and hiking trails.

Both a museum and a cultural center, the complex holds exhibit spaces and a curatorial complex of the highest standard in addition to a library, and multiple communal and educational spaces. Two suspended-cable-and-timber “bridges” span the ravine, creating two ponds. The primary materials – concrete, timber, and fieldstone – are sourced from the region.

Visitors enter the museum at the crest of a hill and descend through a stair and elevator to the pond level. Visitors then circulate from one pavilion to the next, circling and criss-crossing the ponds. The surrounding crown of trees is visible above the roofline of the museum in all directions. Two bridge buildings at the north pond contain galleries, as well as reception, dining and hospitality facilities. The Great Hall, a multipurpose public space, is surrounded on three sides by the south pond. Additional structures nestled into the sloping terrain contain galleries, function rooms, classrooms, a library, curatorial spaces and administrative offices.

  • Collaborators

    Buro/Happold: Structural/MEP Engineers
    Reed/ Hildebrand and Howell and Vancuren, Inc.: Landscape Architects
    LAM Partners: Lighting Consultants
    CEI Engineering Associates: Civil Engineers
    Schnabel Engineering: Specialty Foundation Engineers
    Acentech: Acoustical Consultants

  • Awards

    NCSEA Annual Excellence in Structural Engineering
    Outstanding Award Winner, Category: New Buildings over $100 Million, 2012

    Institution of Structural Engineers Award for Arts and Entertainment Structures, 2012

    Alliant Built America Award for Best Construction Management of a Project presented to Linbeck-Nabholz Joint Venture, Associated General Contractors of America, 2012

    Interior Design Award (Retail), Contract Magazine, 2013

    Arkansas AIA Honor Award, 2012

    Gulf States Regional AIA Honor Award, 2012

  • Clients

    Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

  • Cost

    Withheld by client

Photos and Plan    






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