The design for the new Natural History Museum of Utah is emblematic of the Museum’s mission to illuminate the natural world through scientific inquiry, educational outreach, mutual cultural experience and human engagement of the present, past and future of the region and the world. Positioned literally and figuratively at the threshold of nature and culture, the building is a trailhead to the region and a trailhead to science. Utah’s singular landscape and the ways in which humans have engaged its varied character over time are the touchstones for an architecture that expresses the State’s cultural and natural contexts. Conceived as an abstract extension and transformation of the land, the Museum rests on a series of terraces that lay along the contours of the site with minimal disruption to the adjacent natural landscape. At its base, board-formed concrete marks the transition from the earth to the manmade. Constituting the skin of the building, copper and copper-zinc alloy panels recall Utah’s geological and mineralogical history. The heart of the Museum is a voluminous, sixty-foot-high central public space — the Canyon — which divides the building programmatically into an empirical wing and an interpretive wing. Spaces in the north wing support formal scientific exploration and an objective understanding of our world; the south wing houses exhibits that explore the delicate balance of life on earth and its natural history. In the Canyon, bridges and vertical circulation organize the visitor sequence; views south across the basin expand the museumgoer experience; shafts of sunlight penetrate the apex; and a grand vertical scale uplifts and inspires. A model for environmentally sensitive development and the understanding of Earth’s systems, the Museum received LEED Gold certification.