Zion National Park
National Park Service
Zion National Park protects 229 square miles of landscape; including sculptured canyons and soaring cliffs. The creation of a new “Zion Human History Museum” required the development of new exhibits and a thematic plan to illustrate the region's dependence and connection to water.
Water can be both creative and destructive—it is water that generated the spectacular environment travelers from around the world journey to see. A central interior waterfall was therefore created as a focal structure. This is very rare in a museum because of the impact of aerated water on artifacts, graphics, and the overall HVAC system. Much research and design prototyping was explored to reduce possible negative impact.
Symbolic streaming carpet patterns link the water feature to several radiating content structures. These individual enclosed units showcase various topics including: American Indian life, historic pioneer settlement, geology, natural flora and Zion's growth as a national park. An expansive faceted artifact case is featured in each unit. Case objects range from geologic samples, to native people artifacts to large early pioneer tools surveying instruments. Reader rails are set below each large case to interpret the objects within. A 22-minute AV program provides an overview of the park’s unique geologic features and human history.