Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
- May 3, 2010
The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is being built in 100 forested acres in Bentonville, Arkansas, and takes its name from the unique glass-and-wood building design. Crystal Bridges will house a permanent collection of masterworks from American artists along with galleries dedicated to Native American and regional art and artists, which will be on view in 35,000 square feet of gallery space. It will also house education spaces, with resources and staff for young students, a library and training resources for art and art history students and community venues for programs, concerts and gatherings.
Designed by world-renowned architect, Moshe Safdie, Crystal Bridges will be both a museum and culture center. As a place that will house diverse activities indoors and outdoors for all age groups, the facility will offer a wide range of spaces conducive to interaction and with varied character. The site selected is a ravine fed by Crystal Spring. The challenge of the design was to create a powerful sense of place in harmony with its setting, and to connect it to its surrounding community, including downtown Bentonville.
Two structures, which are both dams and bridges, will be placed across the ravine forming two great ponds. These structures are formed using concrete containing epoxy-coated reinforcing steel.
Additional structures will be nestled into the steeply sloping terrain on either side, containing galleries, classrooms, a library, a lecture hall, curatorial and administrative offices. The bridge structures will contain galleries in the northern bridge and reception and hospitality facilities in the southern one. Further south within the pond, on axis with the bridges, will be a Great Hall, a multipurpose public space.