Mesa Verde Visitor Center: Seamlessly Integrated Exhibits
EDX Exhibits, a renowned architectural studio, has been invited by AJC Architects of Salt Lake City, Utah to join a collaborative design team for the long-awaited Mesa Verde Visitor and Research Center Exhibits project. The aim of this project is to create a seamless integration of building and exhibits, providing visitors with a compelling and engaging experience at Mesa Verde National Park.
By working together through multiple design iterations, the team has successfully shaped a dazzling building that showcases dramatic and engaging exhibits. The design takes full advantage of the building's high ceilings and panoramic views, ensuring visitors are captivated by their surroundings. Located just off the main highway, the center serves as an initial orientation point for visitors, providing an overview of the Ancestral Pueblo people who once inhabited the park. Additionally, visitors have the opportunity to purchase tour tickets for the magnificent cliff palaces that dot the area.
Recognizing the high expected visitation to the park, the exhibits were thoughtfully designed to provide visitors with concise and intriguing pieces of information. These "snippets" aim to stimulate curiosity, encouraging visitors to further explore the park, its developed sites, and other interpretive venues to learn more. Throughout the project, representatives of the park's affiliated tribes were consulted, ensuring the exhibits honor and respect the cultural heritage of the Native American tribes associated with the area.
EDX-designed areas within the center include a circular reflection zone and a park store. The exterior of the center seamlessly integrates interpretive elements with the building's architecture. This includes an orientation plaza providing trip-planning and safety information, a commemorative wall highlighting the 23 affiliated Native American tribes, and an interpretive nature trail. These elements not only enhance the visitor experience but also contribute to the overall aesthetic of the center.
The exhibits and public areas, beautifully integrated into the striking architecture of the building, were recognized for their excellence. In 2014, they were awarded an Exhibit Design Award by the National Association for Interpretation. This accolade is a testament to the successful collaboration between AJC Architects and EDX Exhibits, resulting in a visitor center that not only educates and informs but also inspires and captivates all who visit Mesa Verde National Park.