Architecture

The architecture of Crystal Bridges is as stunning and inspirational as the artwork housed inside it. In a ravine surrounded by native Ozark forest, the Museum’s muscular gray concrete walls rise up from the bedrock, banded in rough cedar and curved to echo the shape of the hillside. The roofs of the Museum’s bridges, covered in deep brown copper, rise like mounds of earth across the still ponds. Designed by architect Moshe Safdie, the structures are meant to provide views of the surrounding landscape and play up the interaction between architecture, art, and nature.

Bringing people, art, and nature together is at the core of Crystal Bridge’s mission, and nature-centric architecture is a key factor in that equation. For that reason, Crystal Bridges celebrates the visionary work of architects such as Safdie and Frank Lloyd Wright, whose buildings work in harmony with the natural environment.

We encourage guests to explore the architecture of Crystal Bridges, as well as that of Wright’s classic Usonian house on the Museum grounds. Guided tours focusing on the architecture of each of these structures are also available.



Moshe Safdie

Crystal Bridges was designed by internationally renowned architect Moshe Safdie, who envisioned a building that would complement the surrounding Ozark landscape. Nestled into a natural ravine, the Museum integrates the element of water on the site through the creation of two spring-fed ponds that are spanned by two signature bridge structures and surrounded by a group of pavilions housing Museum galleries and studios.

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Frank Lloyd Wright

In 2013, Crystal Brides acquired a classic “Usonian” house designed by celebrated American architect Frank Lloyd Wright and constructed in 1954. Known as the Bachman-Wilson House, the structure is being dismantled at its original site in Somerset County, New Jersey, to be reconstructed on the Museum grounds overlooking Crystal Spring. 

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Marlon Blackwell

Architect Marlon Blackwell designed the Museum Store at Crystal Bridges to be an organic complement to the Museum’s natural setting and distinctive architecture. Under a living green roof, the interior ceiling and walls are lined with undulating cherrywood ribs that mimic the fluting on the underside of a mushroom. Blackwell practices architecture in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and serves as distinguished professor and department head in the Fay Jones School of Architecture at the University of Arkansas.

Museum Store



Architecture Blog

March 7, 2016
Coffee Bar at Eleven

A Makeover for the Coffee Bar at Eleven

If you visit Crystal Bridges in the next few weeks, you will notice construction under way around the […]
December 29, 2015
A view of Crystal Bridges North Lawn and Mark di Suvero's sculpture "Lowell's Ocean" from inside the gallery bridge.

News to Lift You Up

The Museum’s North Lawn is lovely, but difficult to reach. Visible from the Early Twentieth-Century […]
December 21, 2015
Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired box by Myron Wilson. Photo by Dero Sanford.

Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright: Woodcraft by Myron Williams

Attention holiday shoppers! Woodcrafter and Crystal Bridges volunteer Myron Williams has created a limited number […]