A copper-skinned museum, dedicated to natural history, has opened on a spectacular seven-hectare site overlooking the Salt Lake Valley in Utah, USA.
Designed by Todd Schliemann of New-York based Ennead Architects, the building blends into the foothills of the Wasatch Mountain Range.
“I have tried with my architecture to interpret the extraordinary landscape of Utah and how people engage it – both in the past and in the present,” said Schliemann.
Conceived as an abstract extension and transformation of the landscape, the museum rests on a series of terraces that step up the hill with minimal disruption to the site.
The striking skin consists of 3,900m2 of copper panels with accent panels of copper-zinc alloy.
The museum contains a 18m-high central public space – dubbed the canyon – which divides the building into a north wing with laboratories, research facilities and administration, and a south wing with public exhibits.
With respect to the natural world, the museum is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification through the use of recycled materials, local resources, photovoltaic energy, radiant cooling and the implementation of an extensive storm water catchment and management system.
The Ennead design team, led by Schliemann and Don Weinreich, was supported by David Brems and John Branson of GSBS of Salt Lake City.