Museum of American Art - Crystal Bridges

Bentonville, Arkansas

New Construction

Sheet Metal Contractor

MG McGrath, Inc.
Maplewood, Minnesota


Safdie Architects
Somerville, Massachusetts

Consulting Architect

Little Rock, Arkansas

General Contractor

Houston, Texas

Using 68,000 square feet of copper, the Museum of American Art - Crystal Bridges unites the power of art with the beauty of landscape. Twenty-ounce copper panels were chosen to give this building's seven roofs a smooth appearance as the panels transitioned over the many different radii, interrupted only by the clean sweep of skylights running from eave to eave. Where skylights were not desired, stainless-steel troughs were installed to mimic the visual appearance. Each piece necessitated field fabrication prior to installation by project craftsmen.

Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton is behind Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas. Copper was selected for this building project because the owner and architects wanted a material that would highlight the geometry of the roofs and stand out against the architectural concrete that dominates the facades. The system was designed to achieve not only a unique aesthetic, but a specific functionality. Copper provided a durable, long-lasting and beautiful skin that no other building material could in this design.

Architectural Category: Exotic or Unusual Applications

Photo Credit: Ken West

Photo Credit: Ken West

Photo Credit: Ken West

Photo Credit: Ken West

Photo Credit: Ken West

Photo Credit: Ken West