Crystal Bridges Museum plans major expansion

BENTONVILLE, Ark. – Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announced plans to expand its size by 50 percent. The project will add nearly 100,000 square ft. to the 200,000 square foot facility.

Officials say the expansion will allow the museum to showcase its growing collection and welcome more visitors to experience the power of art. The new space will increase capacity for presenting art and exhibitions, educational and outreach initiatives, cultural programming, and community events.

“It’s wonderful to see how our community, our region, and travelers to Bentonville from across the nation and around the world have embraced Crystal Bridges, and enjoyed the experience of being surrounded by art, nestled in nature, and immersed in Moshe Safdie’s architecture,” said Alice Walton, Crystal Bridges founder and board chairperson. “With the number of visitors we welcome annually, it’s timely to enlarge our building and make sure more people can access these offerings. Having Safdie Architects expand on its original Crystal Bridges design with this new addition will create a unified experience for enjoying art, nature, and architecture.”

Ten years after completing the original design for the museum, Safdie Architects has returned to create a seamlessly integrated expansion that resonates with the existing pavilions and outdoor spaces. New structures will house additional galleries, educational facilities, event spaces, a café, and new indoor and outdoor gathering spaces. 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.

The project is currently in the design development phase with construction commencing in early 2022 with the goal of completing construction in 2024. As a precursor to the expansion, a reconfigured main lobby and courtyard, also designed by Safdie Architects, will be completed in May 2021.