Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Museum Store

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Museum Store

Awards Won

Honor Award 2012


Bentonville, AR


Marlon Blackwell Architect

Project Team

Project Team:
Marlon Blackwell, FAIA
Meryati Johari Blackwell, Assoc. AIA
Michael Pope, Assoc. AIA
Bradford Payne, Assoc. AIA
Jonathan Boelkins, AIA
Stephen Reyenga, Assoc. AIA
William Burks, Assoc. AIA
Angela Carpenter
Casey Worrell

HP Engineering Inc.
Resource Design
Ducibella Venter & Santore
Milestone Construction Company, LLC

Photo Credit

Timothy Hursley

Project Overview

Crystal Bridges Museum Store_altThe museum store provides a retail destination for art patrons that acts as an extension of the Crystal Bridges Museum experience.

The museum store is an insertion to an existing 3,040 square foot curved concrete space with numerous concrete columns supporting a green roof and a west-facing storefront.  A series of parallel cherry plywood ribs organizes the space, forming the ceiling and millwork on the rear wall.  Likened to the ribbed underside of a mushroom known as a lamella, the surface undulates to create an elegant sectional profile while also serving the practical function of providing shade from the intense western sun. The porosity and regularity of the lamella system provide an inherent flexibility for heating and cooling systems, lighting and hanging merchandise.  Fabric covered display walls terminate the north and south ends of the space with a color and texture to compliment the warmth of the cherry wood floor and lamella surfaces whose form and structure resonates with the aesthetic of the museum.  Free-standing custom walnut and glass vitrines further organize the space, providing integral display and storage while serving as a counterpoint to the sensual curved ceiling and rear wall. The geometry of the plan is transformed into a three dimensional spatial proposition imbued with local materials and craftsmanship, expressing a kinship with the unique sensibility found in American Art.