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

November 10, 2016
Back view of Frank Lloyd Wright's Bachman-Wilson House at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Photo by Nancy  Nolan

Touring the Dream House and Living the Dream

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September 26, 2016
Crystal Bridges Exhibition Designer Jessi Mueller

Museum Careers: A Spotlight on Exhibition Designer Jessi Mueller

Interpretation Intern Rome Font prepared today’s blog post on Crystal Bridges’ Exhibition Designer, Jessi Mueller. […]
May 17, 2016
A WOW guest tangles with Chef Melody's specialty spaghetti.

CR(EAT)E Food Blog:  Frank Lloyd Wright, Exiled Meatballs, and the Usonian Cocktail

  The crowd gasped dramatically…millennials forced to peer up from their devices, men gnawing on […]