America’s Coolest Art and Design Hotel
Located on the northeast corner of the Bentonville town square and a short walk to Moshe Safdie’s Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, 21c Museum Hotel Bentonville is a 104-room boutique hotel that boasts an impressive collection of contemporary art and 12,000 square feet of exhibition (open to the public!). The newest location, which opened in 2013, joins two other 21c properties in Cincinnati and Louisville.
Deborah Berke Partners, in collaboration with executive architect Polk Stanley Wilcox, designed the Bentonville, Arkansas, branch of mini-chain 21c Museum Hotel with a glass facade and 12,000 square feet of public exhibition space. In 2006, Berke was hired by owners Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson to design the first 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky: a series of “five deteriorating 19th century buildings along West Main Street with a design that highlighted the original brick, timber, and cast iron construction.”
The hotel’s arts programming is curated by VP Museum Director Alice Gray Stites in collaboration with the 21c founders, who maintain a permanant collection of over 2,000 works comprising painting, sculpture, installation, photography, film, video, and digital art. Public art is on display at the Bentonville hotel via the in-room Video Art Channel, in elevator lobbies, hallways, and even the restrooms. The area rug in the lobby is from Lepere, Inc.
Berke’s design balances grand public spaces with “intimate, inviting” private spaces. The entry points to the hotel are categorized by high ceilings and polished concrete floors, and incorporating natural light is a central focus throughout the 100,000 square foot property. The sleekness of the space is contrasted by a rich wooden table, which serves as a check-in desk, by Simplemente Madera. The green penguins spotted throughout the building are by Cracking Art Group.