The Momentary. A cultural space that blends contemporary art into everyday life - RenovationOnWeb
The Momentary is a unique contemporary art experience creatively recreated from a 70-year-old decommissioned Kraft Foods plant in Bentonville, Arkansas. A museum that turns what is expected of a traditional art museum upside down, it houses an exhibition space, concerts, theatre, cinema and studio spaces that support an artist-in-residency programme
The Momentary welcomes visitors through its courtyard rather than through a large, monumental entrance door. The aim was to design a cultural hub with engaging indoor and outdoor areas to attract artists from around the world to the region
Wheeler Kearns Architects studio sought to reuse as much of the existing structure as possible while also trying to differentiate the new buildings as much as possible by using contemporary materials such as steel and glass, an open and visible project that combines the old and the new in a varied but holistic programme
Its scale seems accessible; its materials and style are in stark contrast to the building and seem to be almost overlapping. Its presence signals to visitors that something different is happening. While the existing building (the factory) was inward-focused and opaque, the new additions to the building are made of glass to provide views from inside and out.
The large outdoor garden space includes a 15 metre high canopy on the east side that spans 13,000 square metres, a focal point for outdoor music festivals that also acts as a sun shelter for spectators
Inside, The Momentary deliberately overlaps social and culinary activities with art spaces to defend the role of contemporary art in everyday life. The result is a beautiful experiential space where visitors enjoy food and drink simultaneously with art exhibitions in one of the area's leading visual art spaces