New Project | Crystal Bridges Expansion

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announced plans for a major expansion that will increase the size of the facility by roughly 50% adding new galleries, educational facilities, and community spaces to allow visitors to have access to more art, outreach, programs, and events. The project is in the design development phase with construction commencing in early 2022 with the goal of completing construction in 2024.

"It’s wonderful to see how our community and travelers from around the world have enjoyed art nestled in nature and immersed in Moshe Safdie’s architecture. With the number of visitors we welcome annually, it’s timely to enlarge our building and make sure more people can access these offerings.

– Alice Walton, Crystal Bridges founder and board chairperson.

Ten years after completing the original design for the museum, Safdie Architects has returned to create new galleries, educational facilities, event spaces, a café, and new indoor and outdoor gathering spaces. Extending the partnership between the organizations, the design deepens the integration of art, architecture, and nature that has become synonymous with Crystal Bridges.

"It has been a joy to see Crystal Bridge’s enthusiastic reception by the public. We are honored to be back and working with the museum to realize a series of new facilities which will enrich the diversity of the museum experience.”

– Moshe Safdie

Since opening in 2011, Crystal Bridges has welcomed more than five million visitors with free admission to the collection and five miles of art trails on 120 acres. The museum has doubled its collection since opening, with a focus on acquiring works by underrepresented artists.

In 2019, Crystal Bridges welcomed more than 700,000 visitors including 50,000 students participating in school field trips. Complementing existing design elements, the expansion will use regional materials sourced from Northwest Arkansas. The project creates new connections between the galleries, program spaces, and surrounding park and trails. 

Highlights include:

  • A 65% increase in gallery space including adding two new galleries and new spaces for community displays.

  • More educational facilities with gathering areas, art studios, and maker spaces.

  • A new bridge connecting galleries could add space for art, reflection, gathering, and a new café.

  • An event plaza will increase opportunities for outdoor programming and performances.

Download Press Release here.

Download Project Features here.

Learn more at the Crystal Bridges website

Project Credits

Design Architect: Safdie Architects

Associate Architect: Hight Jackson

Structural, Façade, and MEP Engineers: Buro Happold

Civil Engineers: CEI Engineers

Landscape Architects: Coen +Partners

Lighting: LAM 

Contractor: Flintco

Published in Events on April 7, 2021