Integrated into the foothill slopes of the Wasatch Mountain Range, the building steps up the hill and cuts into it to mimic natural forms. Its material palette recalls Utah's rich geological and mineralogical history; on teh exterior, a variegated pattern of copper panels extends from the volume at angles that reference the surrounding mountainous landscape and the geophysical processes that created it. Three structural bays are organized along a central axis. This organization reduces the perceived scale of the building and creates a central wedge-shaped public space called the 'canyon.' On the interior, exhibits are designed as a system of 'trails," allowing visitors to choose their own paths. The new building provides advanced research facilities for Museum scientists and a venue for undergraduate and graduate training at the University of Utah.