Crystal Bridges announces construction of building for Alice Walton’s health institute

Northwest Arkansas News

East view of the Whole Health Institute building (Marlon Blackwell Architects)

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announced on Monday plans for the construction of a Whole Health Institute building on the museum’s 120-acre grounds.

Established by Alice Walton earlier this year in Northwest Arkansas, the Whole Health Institute focuses on “radically redesigning the systems that impact health and well-being with the ultimate goal of making Whole Health affordable and accessible to everyone,” according to its website.

The new 75,000 square-foot, multi-use office and community space will be located on the northwest side of the museum’s additional parking lot and will include space for interactive programs and a convening space for up to 800 people.

It will also include access to the Chopra Library and offices for both Whole Health Institute and Art Bridges.

“Earlier this year, we announced the Whole Health Institute with our mission to give everyone access to a transformative approach to health,” said Tracy Gaudet, Executive Director of the Whole Health Institute. “As our newly formed institution continues to develop, the location on Crystal Bridges’ campus and the design of this building provide an ideal setting for interactive programs that will welcome the community to take charge of their health and well-being surrounded by nature and inspiring works of art.”

Designed by Marlon Blackwell Architects, construction will break ground in spring 2021 with an estimated completion date of 2023.

Marlon Blackwell also designed the Museum Store and an upcoming parking deck.

“Through the design process, we are thinking about architecture’s role in presenting a space for both well-being and health education,” said Blackwell. “There is a focus on creating a sense of place that manifests into the curvilinear forms and native stone inspired by the Ozark forest and karst topography. The openness of the building and access to the natural surroundings are also important elements and an invitation to actively explore healing in relation to art, nature, and architecture in a time when health is such an important local and global issue.”

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