Crystal Bridges Announces Plans for an Outdoor Play Space

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Oct 8, 2020
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Crystal Bridges is making way for a four-acre community playscape called Convergence on the southeast side of Crystal Bridges’ campus.

Convergence, a collaborative project by the Amazeum and Crystal Bridges, will be for visitors of all ages and abilities.

“For nearly a decade, Crystal Bridges has offered a place to enjoy a unique blend of art, nature, and architecture on our 120 acres of beautiful Ozark forest,” said Rod Bigelow, executive director and chief diversity & inclusion officer, Crystal Bridges. “As Northwest Arkansas increases access to quality-of-life amenities, we are excited to activate our grounds in new ways. Working with the Scott Family Amazeum, Marlon Blackwell Architects, and Studio Bryan Hanes, we are creating a more dynamic, cultural ecosystem on our campus that expands art, nature, architecture, and play.”

Concept Renderings by Studio Bryan Hanes

Convergence will be a robust, outdoor, family play space inspired by arts, science, nature, and design, inclusive for guests of all ages. The space will invite visitors to step off the trail and into a park that uses the natural surroundings to engage the senses with interactive elements and water features that mimic the Ozark landscape.

The design for this project is funded by the Walton Family Foundation’s Northwest Arkansas Design Excellence Program which promotes the highest level of design for future public buildings and spaces in the region.

Still in the schematic design phase, this project combines the expertise of Crystal Bridges and the Amazeum to create a free, public place to interact with art and nature through play. The timeline is still in development and will be shared at a later date.

“We are excited to share the vision of this community play space that we’ve worked on in collaboration with Crystal Bridges and the Design Excellence winner, Studio Bryan Hanes,” said Sam Dean, executive director of the Amazeum. “This unique partnership brings together two different cultural institutions, both passionately interested in creativity, curiosity, and pushing the boundaries of inquiry that allow people to be explorers in nature while actively learning about the many intersections of art, science, and nature.”

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