Natural History Museum of Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

Developing a learning environment by integrating architecture with the natural landscape

The Natural History Museum of Utah is located at the base of the majestic Wasatch Mountain Range; the design challenge was to stitch together natural and cultural worlds into a seamless, educational landscape that would engage visitors and compete with the distractions of today’s “wired” culture. Our solution created a camouflage pattern that is geometric and manmade up close but evocative of natural patterns surrounding it from a distance. In this way, the landscape can be at home in its natural surroundings and yet remain unabashedly a cultural construction. The team employed green building techniques such as rainwater capture, pervious paving, native plantings and local materials to promote long-term sustainability. Visitors not only have stunning views of the Oquirrh Mountains and Great Salt Lake but also engage with the environment through learning opportunities embedded in the landscape.

Services Provided: Master Planning, Schematic Design, Schematic Interpretive Plan


  • Award of Excellence in Design, ASLA National
  • Honor Award for Design, ASLA Colorado
  • Paper Landscape Architecture Award, ASLA Utah
  • LEED® Gold Certified, USGBC


Utah Museum of Natural History


Ennead, Gillies Stramsky Brems Smith, Ralph Applebaum Associates, Stantec, Leslie E. Robertson Associates, Dunn Associates, Inc., Craig Johnson, Big D