Noted architects and exhibits designers have been selected to work their magic on the planned $65 million building that someday will house the Utah Museum of Natural History.
Chosen as architects were:
Showing off the setting, a media event Wednesday during which the architect and designer choices were announced was held in the lobby of the nearby Huntsman Chemical Corp. in Research Park.
Museum officials stood behind a table on which several exhibits were displayed, including an ancient Indian figurine, a dinosaur skull and other treasures. On a backdrop were views of buildings and exhibits elsewhere, which were designed by teams chosen for this project.
Behind them, the lobby's tall glass wall displayed a breathtaking view, similar to that of the building site.
The view will be incorporated into the museum's operations, as it will be used to help explain the relationship between life and the landscape. Visitors will learn how change in the land affected Utah in the past "and the role of humans in this landscape that we all love so much," George said.
"Nowhere in the world is natural history as visible and as accessible as it is here in Utah. Given this environment we can build a world-class museum for everyone."
The natural history museum is located at the University of Utah, and the U. donated the ground for the new facility. U. president Michael Young said 90 percent of the museum collection is in storage, but once the new facility is built, substantially more will be on display.
The public will be able to watch "as the scientists and researchers work," Young added.
Spencer Eccles of the Emma Eccles Jones Foundation which made a large donation to get the museum project under way noted that "Nan Emma Jones, as we fondly referred to her, would be proud her resources are being used on this project, and that so many children will have such a wonderful learning experience. We're excited, also, to be part of it."
He added that the spectacular, panoramic view "from the Wasatch Mountains to the Great Basin" will help the museum "tell the important history of our state and this region to the world, and do so in ways that have never been possible before . . . kind of like an Olympic showcase that will never end."
Tom Schliemann, design architect with Polshek, said the extraordinary site sits at the edge of the urban environment with the natural landscape behind and to the north.
David Brems, building architect with the Gillies firm, said he was floored by the new Rose Center. "I'm honored to have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," he said.
E-mail: [email protected]