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New museum's design plays off the nearby art museum

Metal Architecture, top honors, marcy marro, Scott family amazeum

Designed to combine fun and functionality, the Scott Family Amazeum Children's Museum in Bentonville, Ark., features interactive indoor and outdoor learning spaces. With approximately 50,000 square feet of indoor exhibits and 1 acre of outdoor learning space, the project features exposed steel throughout.

The outdoor space offers guests unstructured open-ended play encouraging connections with nature's wonders throughout, including full-body play and physical development. It also accommodates year-round learning and provides experiments inspired by the seasons.

Located next to the acclaimed Crystal Bridges Museum of Modern Art, Reb Haizlip, AIA, founder and principal of Haizlip Studio, Memphis, Tenn., says the goals were to sensitively graft the museum and 5-acre site onto the Crystal Bridges campus at its entrance, and to create a signature work of architecture responding to the community's explicit aspirations of design excellence.

"We approached the design with an everpresent awareness that whatever we proposed could not detract from, and should only heighten the Crystal Bridges Museum visitor experience," Haizlip explains. "The building takes its cues of form and materials from Crystal Bridges. The use of exposed concrete, curved laminated wood, glass curtainwall and zinc metal cladding were adopted to place the Scott Family Amazeum in the Crystal Bridges design family, while looking for ways to express the informality and play-oriented character of the discovery museum."

On the fully exposed site, Haizlip says the visitor entrance and parking lots were internalized while orientating active nature-play gardens and education spaces to face primary public thoroughfares and view coordinators. "Program spaces were organized in simple plan geometry to let the volume of formal and informal education spaces create a play of three-dimensional forms clad in a material palette referencing Crystal Bridges," he says.

The project features a curved Zee-Lock standing seam metal roof from San Antonio-based Berridge Manufacturing Co., chosen for its durability and clean visual appearance. The project also features two finishes of Greeneville, Tenn.-based Jarden Zinc Products' flat lock panels. Jarden's Presidential Series Gannett Green textured zinc is the main body of zinc on the walls and Jarden's Architectural Series, Glacier Grey textured zinc is at the glulam caps and closure pieces at each roof. According to Haizlip, the zinc cladding pays homage to Northwest Arkansas' former history as a hub for zinc and lead mining, and the hand-folded zinc installation process by Queen City Roofing & Contracting Co., Springfield, Mo., allowed them to highlight the honesty of the material and celebrate hand-crafted work.

Additionally, Haizlip says the museum owners requested that the connections be bare, lean and muscular so the kids can understand the physicality of the building. To accomplish this, All Steel Construction, Benton, Ark., supplied the structural steel system, and Kawneer Co. Inc., Norcross, Ga., provided the glass curtainwalls for the project.

Designed to reach a LEED Silver equivalency, the facility features ground-source heat pumps, stormwater management through the use of bioswales, native plantings to promote biodiversity, optimal solar orientation, landscape for natural shading, solar shading devices, natural daylighting, high-performance, low-E glazing, high-perforamance interior LED lighting, and the use of regional building materials. "We believe that high-performance design is a moral imperative for childhood environmnents," says Haizlip.

Exhibitions include the 3M Tinkering Hub; General Mills Lift, Load and Haul; Market Sponsored by Walmart; Nature Valley Water Amazements; Nickelodeon Play Lab; Hershey's Lab and more. The facility also includes a venue to host gatherings, productions and special events.

Scott Family Amazeum Children's Museum, Bentonville, Ark.

Award: 2016 Excellence in Hot-Dip Galvanizing Award in Building and Architecture from the American Galvanizers Association
Architect: Haizlip Studio, Memphis, Tenn.
General contractor: Nabholz Corp., Conway, Ark.
Galvanizer: AZZ Galvanizing, Prairie Grove, Ark.
Glazing contractor: RGC Glass Inc., Fayetteville, Ark.
Metal roofing contractor: Harness Roofing Inc., Harrison, Ark.
Zinc roofing contractor: Queen City Roofing & Contracting Co., Springfield, Mo.
Structural steel fabricator: All Steel Construction, Benton, Ark.
Curtainwall: Kawneer Co. Inc., Norcross, Ga.,, Circle #77
Metal roof panels: Berridge Manufacturing Co., San Antonio,, Circle #78
Zinc: Jarden Zinc Products, Greeneville, Tenn.,, Circle #79