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Crystal Bridges Museum unveils expansion plans with design by Safdie Architects

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has announced plans for a major expansion at the site in Bentonville, designed by Safdie Architects.

crystal bridges museum expansion

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, which is located in Northwest Arkansas, is increasing the facility’s size by approximately 50 percent.

The museum will add new galleries, educational facilities and community spaces. The project is in the design development phase, with construction starting in early 2022 and completion set for 2024.

“It’s wonderful to see how our community and travelers from around the world have enjoyed experiencing art, nature, and architecture, thanks to Moshe Safdie’s design,” said Alice Walton, founder of Crystal Bridges.

Crystal Bridges expansion plans

“With the number of visitors we welcome annually, it’s timely to enlarge our building and make sure more people can access these offerings.”

Safdie Architects completed the original design for the museum in 2011 and is returning to create new galleries, educational offerings, event spaces, indoor and outdoor spaces, and a café.

“It has been a joy to see Crystal Bridge’s enthusiastic reception by the public,” said Moshe Safdie, founder of Safdie Architects.

“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’s museum design

Since opening in 2011, Crystal Bridges has hosted more than five million visitors. In 2019, it welcomed more than 700,000 guests, including 50,000 students.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has also doubled its collection since it launched. Its focus is on obtaining works by underrepresented artists.

The expansion will utilise local materials from Northwest Arkansas. Gallery space will grow by 65 percent, with two new galleries rising. Additionally, a new bridge will connect galleries, and an event plaza will host outdoor events and performances.

Elsewhere, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is opening new galleries and spaces after renovating and expanding the main building on May 7, 2021. The project was led by architect Frank Gehry.

Images: Safdie Architects

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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