At Utah’s Natural History Museum, the exhibits are almost as cool as the building housing them.
Sure, the dinosaur bones are cool. So are the exhibits on indigenous peoples. But of all the displays at the new Natural History Museum of Utah, the most stunning might be the museum itself. Located in Salt Lake City along the Rocky Mountain foothills, the modernist structure blends seamlessly into its surroundings, almost as an homage to the earth. Its roof rises and falls with the slope of the peaks that loom behind it, while its concrete base emerges naturally from the craggy landscape. And the building’s copper facade, composed of horizontal bands of varying heights, emulates the strata of geologic time. At the center of the museum, the two main wings appear to tear apart, creating a canyonlike public space. Response to the aesthetics has been so upbeat that the museum now offers guided architecture tours weekdays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Cost of the tours is included in the $9 adult admission, www.nhmu.utah.edu