The Momentary Museum Arkansas, Bentonville AR interior design, American architecture images

The Momentary Museum in Bentonville

Design: Wheeler Kearns Architects

Location: Bentonville, Arkansas, United States of America

The Momentary Museum Bentonville

Photos by Tom Harris Architectural Photography

February 17, 2021

The Momentary Museum

The Momentary is a new contemporary art space envisaged as a satellite to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Led by Chicago-based Wheeler Kearns Architects, the adaptive reuse project saw the 63,000-square-foot decommissioned cheese factory into a multidisciplinary space for visual, performing, and culinary artists. The firm was tasked with envisioning the Momentary’s aim of creating a space offering a unique experience unlike a traditional museum.

The Momentary Museum Bentonville

The focus was on designing a cultural hub with engaging indoor and outdoor areas that would expand the cultural experiences in Bentonville and bring artists from around the world to the region. The Momentary purposefully overlaps social, performance, and culinary activities with art spaces to champion contemporary art’s role in everyday life.

The Momentary Museum Bentonville

The Momentary is a new phase in the life of this site. Once a hunting ground for the Osage Nation, the land was turned into an orchard in the 1800s with a railway spur running through the north side of the property. Eagle Flour Mill occupied the site from 1913-1947, at which point it became a cheese processing factory for Kraft Foods until 2013.

The Momentary Museum Bentonville

The Momentary Museum Bentonville

When approaching the transformation of this building for a new purpose, Wheeler Kearns Architects aimed to keep as much of the existing structure as possible. It deliberately differentiated its additions by using contemporary materials like steel and glass, an open and visible intervention that brings the old and new together in a diverse, but holistic, program.

The Momentary Museum Bentonville

The program includes:
● The Galleries, located in the oldest part of the original building, which spans over 24,000 square feet. The Momentary’s inaugural visual arts exhibition, State of the Art 2020, is the first to feature in the space.

The Momentary Museum Bentonville

● At 70-feet-tall, The Tower is the largest space in the program allowing for vertical circulation up through multiple pre-existing intermediate mezzanines, which will be used for visual arts, performance, and social events. The exterior of the new addition features glass panels designed by Osage artist Addie Roanhorse, who drew inspiration from Osage attire, paying homage to the site’s history. The design, titled Sway, also features in the entrance and The Container, a glass-enclosed space for events.

The Momentary Museum Bentonville

● The RØDE House is a multidisciplinary performance space in the old Milk Intake Room which seats upwards of 350 people. The space can either be closed or partially open-air and features an adjustable floor system fabricated by Serapid that allows the room to be reconfigured.

The Momentary Museum Bentonville

● Once the enclosure for the plant’s massive tank, the Fermentation Hall is a black box theater located in the old Fermentation Room. Taking advantage of the natural acoustic isolation with the precast concrete of the existing space, it features high ceilings and a variable acoustic system developed with Schuler Shook Theatre Designers and Threshold Acoustics. It seats upwards of 100 people in a retractable seating bank.

The Momentary Museum Bentonville

● On the north end of the building are three dedicated Artist-in-Residence studios designed to accommodate 2D, 3D, and digital artists. The artist-in-residence program invites visual, performing, and culinary artists from around the world to work on their projects.

The Momentary Museum Bentonville

● Culinary and beverage offerings include The Breakroom, a social space off the galleries in the former employee lunch-room, and a new Onyx Coffee Lab location, designed by Bradley Edwards Architect. At the top of the Tower is the Tower Bar, with interiors designed by James Beard Finalists Jett Butler and Stephanie Leung of FÖDA in collaboration with Wheeler Kearns Architects, which offers stunning panoramic views as well as a floor skylight looking down to the museum below. It is Momentary Friend and Insider-level members only during the day and open to the public as a bar in the evening.

The Momentary Museum Bentonville

Extensive outdoor space is also incorporated into the overall plan for the Momentary, taking advantage of the natural topography. In collaboration with the Tulsa-based firm Howell Vancuren Landscape Architects, the landscaping includes sculptures, courtyards like the Arvest Bank Courtyard, and the 42,000-ft Momentary Green. On the east side of the Green, a canopy that is 50 feet tall and spans 13,000 square feet has been relocated from Sydney, Australia, where it was originally designed by Japanese company Taiyo for The Domain.

It is a focal point for outdoor single and multi-day music festivals, such as FreshGrass | Bentonville, and also a place of shade for the public. As with the building program, sustainability is central to the landscape design, which is designed to purify and clean rainwater before it moves into the creek through a bioswale system that runs along the edge of the pavement which eventually trickles down to the ponds at Crystal Bridges

The Momentary Museum Bentonville

The Momentary Museum in Bentonville, AR – Building Information

Architecture: Wheeler Kearns Architects
Location: 507 SE E St, Bentonville, AR, 72712
Completion date: February 20th, 2020
Gross square footage: 60,500 SF
Total project cost: Confidential
Total construction cost: Confidential

Client: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Owner: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

The Momentary Museum Bentonville The Momentary Museum Bentonville

Wheeler Kearns Architects:

Key Design Team:-
Calli Verkamp, AIA LEED AP, Lead Project Architect
Brandon Hall, AIA, Project Architect
Larry Kearns, FAIA LEED AP, Project Principal
Thomas Boyster, AIA, Architect
Daniel Wicke, AIA, Architect

Interior designer: FODA (Interiors / Branding / Signage)


Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti
MEP/FP and IT Engineer: McGuire Engineers


Civil Engineer: McClelland Engineers
Landscape Architect: Howell & Vancuren Landscape Architects
Lighting Consultant: Lux Populi
Theatre Designer: Schuler Shook
Acoustic and AV Design: Threshold Acoustics LLC
Kitchen Design: Edge Associates
General Contractor and Construction Manager: Flintco
Furniture Dealer: Innerplan Office Interiors

The Momentary Museum Bentonville

Photographer: Tom Harris Architectural Photography

The Momentary Museum in Bentonville, AR images / information received 170221

Address: 801 SE 8th St, Bentonville, Arkansas 72712, United States of America
Phone: +1 479-250-0474

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