Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Expansion

Bentonville, Arkansas, 2021 / In-Design

Ten years after the completion of the original design for the museum, a seamlessly integrated expansion will increase the museum’s galleries, create more space for educational programming, and foster new community engagement opportunities. Extending the long-term partnership between Crystal Bridges and Safdie Architects, the design continues the deep integration of art, architecture, and nature that has become synonymous with Crystal Bridges.

Nearly doubling the size of the current facilities, the expansion will add to the collection of elegant pavilions nestled within the sloping landscape. Continued use of regional materials such as concrete, timber, and fieldstone are sourced from Northwest Arkansas and celebrate the region’s craft traditions. New interior and exterior connections throughout the project create links between the galleries and program spaces and the surrounding park and trails. Construction on the expanded pavilions will begin in early 2022 with the goal of completing construction in 2024. As a precursor to the expansion, a reconfigured main lobby and courtyard was completed in May of 2021.

Increased gallery space (by 65 percent) will allow the museum to present art with two new galleries while also adding to existing space for temporary exhibitions and offering new spaces for community displays. The new galleries incorporate a bespoke system of skylights that allow adjustable natural daylight illumination, while ensuring the preservation of the art.

A new bridge connecting two galleries could add non-traditional space for art that is not sensitive to light. With floor-to-ceiling views of the natural surroundings, it will offer spaces for reflection and gathering, including a new café.

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Model Photos