Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Crystal Bridges is both museum and culture center. Two structures, which are both dams and bridges, are placed across a ravine forming two ponds. Additional structures are nestled into the steeply sloping terrain on either side, containing galleries, classrooms, a library, a lecture hall, curatorial and administrative offices. Crystal Bridges, both a museum and a cultural center,
is located in a ravine with a creek fed by Crystal Springs. Two suspended-cable-and-wood buildings span the ravine, creating two ponds. These structures serve as dams as well as bridges. The design protects the natural beauty of the site and emphasizes a strong sense of place, employing indigenous materials such as wood, fieldstone, and limestone aggregate. Building walls are concrete with wood inlays, and laminated wood beams compose the roofs. The liberal use of glass throughout the complex provides transparency and enhances views of the site.
The museum comprises a number of independent structures that form a series of pavilions over and alongside the ponds. The two bridge buildings are located at opposite ends of the north pond. The gallery bridge contains two galleries while the entry bridge houses reception, dining, and hospitality facilities. The Great Hall, a multipurpose public space, is surrounded on three sides by the south pond. Additional structures, nestled into the sloping terrain on both sides of the ravine, contain galleries, function rooms, classrooms, a library, curatorial spaces, and administrative offices. In contrast to the convex roofs of
the bridges, the concave roofs of these structures visually retain the steep slopes of the site.