The Momentary | Wheeler Kearns Architects

SAVE The Momentary | Wheeler Kearns Architects

Project Name: The Momentary

Practice: Wheeler Kearns Architects

Firm Location: Chicago, Illinois

Completion year: 2020

Gross Built up Area: 60,500 SF

Project Location: Bentonville, USA

Clients: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Engineering: McClelland Engineers

Structural Consultants: Thornton Tomasetti

Landscape Consultants: Howell & Vancuren Landscape Architects

MEP Consultants: McGuire Engineers

Interior + Furniture: FODA (Interiors / Branding / Signage)

Others: Lighting Consultant: Lux Populi, Theatre Designer: Schuler Shook, Acoustic and AV Design: Threshold Acoustics LLC, Kitchen Design: Edge Associates

Photo Credits: Tom Harris Architectural Photography

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Project Description
(Text submitted by architect)

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 A rchitects, 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 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 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. 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.

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 V ancuren 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.



Read More: Architecture | Mixed Use | Institutional Architecture | Sustainability | Courtyard Architecture | Temperate Architecture | Wheeler Kearns Architects | Bentonville | USA
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