The unique architecture of the Fine Art Museum is a work of art in itself. Designed by the award wining Gund Partnership, the space is thoughtfully designed to highlight the landscape and culture of Western North Carolina. Towering columns that mimic the giant tulip poplar trees of nearby Joyce Kilmer National Forest flank the entrance to museum facility. In the main atrium, the tile floor design of a seven-pointed star represents the seven clans of the Cherokee Nation. Bilingual signage throughout the facility uses English and the Cherokee syllabary, developed in 1809 by Sequoyah to give his people their first written language.