A bright mural on the wall over a map of the river

Big Bend Rio Grande Village

Big Bend National Park, TX

Highlighting river ecology and international cooperation to preserve unique natural resources.

The Rio Grande Village Visitor Center sits on the edge of the river whose dramatic bend gives Big Bend National Park its name. This is a premier spot for birding and other wildlife sightings, and it is also a unique point of cultural reflection. EDX designed exhibits that highlight the ongoing efforts between the US and Mexico to preserve this stunning and complex landscape. Outdoor orientation exhibits and plaza elements are designed to serve visitors year-round, enhancing their understanding of the Rio’s bustling ecosystem.

EDX has designed five additional visitor centers at Big Bend National Park. They include: Magdalena House Visitor Center, focused on cultural history along the border between US and Mexico; Chisos Basin Visitor Center, highlighting the diversity of animals and habitats in the park; Persimmon Gap Visitor Center, orienting new visitors to the park; Panther Junction Visitor Center, interpreting the natural history of the mountains, river, and desert; and Fossil Discovery Exhibit, a unique open-air, sustainable facility, that interprets the park’s rich paleontological history.

Exterior of Magdalena House

Big Bend Magdalena House

Big Bend National Park, TX

A cross-cultural history in a place of natural desert beauty.

Big Bend National Park boasts spectacular scenery, diverse wildlife, and a rich, cross-border cultural history. Magdalena House was named after Magdalena Silvas, a Mexican-American cook who lived here and raised her family in the early 20th century. Exhibits explore life in this isolated area when people of diverse cultures and backgrounds moved easily across the Rio Grande between the US and Mexico.

EDX has designed five additional visitor centers at Big Bend National Park. They include: Rio Grande Village Visitor Center, focused on the ecology of the river, and highlighting the history of bi-national cooperation between the US and Mexico; Chisos Basin Visitor Center, highlighting the diversity of animals and habitats in the park; Persimmon Gap Visitor Center, orienting new visitors to the park; Panther Junction Visitor Center, interpreting the natural history of the mountains, river, and desert; and Fossil Discovery Exhibit, a unique open-air, sustainable facility, that interprets the park’s rich paleontological history.

Immersive boat in the middle of exhibit space

Allegheny Portage Railroad National Historic Site Visitor Center

Gallitzin, PA

Engineering and innovation allow diverse travelers to cross the Allegheny Mountains.

In 1840, canal travel was giving way to steam railroading. This national historic site preserves a unique engineering solution to get passengers over the Allegheny Mountains—combining early steam locomotive technology with canal travel. Exhibits include an exploration of the important role this system played in transporting enslaved people to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Other elements include an immersive, life-size canal boat, a tactile model of the portage railroad, STEM interactives, AV media, tactile and scale models of canal boats, trains, and steam engines. For cost effectiveness, nearly half the exhibit consisted of updated and re-used portions of the previous exhibits.

Sketch of diorama with bison

Wind Cave National Park Visitor Center

Hot Springs, SD

Stories of rich cultures and a complex ecosystem link worlds, above and below ground.

Wind Cave National Park, located in southwestern South Dakota, is the country’s eighth national park. Originally designated to protect the cave, the park now also protects one of the largest remaining mixed-grass prairies in the Black Hills. The cave is an extensive, complex network that includes miles of underground passageways interconnected in a tangled knot and connected to the above-ground world in surprising ways. Prairie wildlife include bison, elk, pronghorn, deer, mountain lion, prairie dog, and the endangered black-footed ferret.

EDX-designed exhibits shed light on the geology of the cave, its cultural significance to the Lakota and other American Indian tribes, the rich natural environment, and the ways in which these stories are intricately connected—above and below ground. The exhibits provide ADA-compliant experiences for all visitors. Oral histories and traditions from American Indian tribes educate visitors on the important cultural significance of Wind Cave to different peoples.

Sketch showing diorama island in center of exhibits

Great Sand Dunes National Park Visitor Center

Mosca, CO

Exploring the unique plants, animals, and people who make a home among some of the world’s most impressive sand dunes.

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve encompasses over 234 square miles of diverse landscapes and ecosystems. From the San Luis Valley at 7,500 feet to the 14,000-foot summits of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the park encompasses grasslands, wetlands, conifer and aspen forests, alpine lakes, and tundra. New EDX-designed exhibits highlight the diversity of the park’s ecosystems and history through stunning dioramas, interactive tactile elements, and an immersive night-sky experience.

 

sketch showing Hurricane Ridge landscape in summer on left side and winter on right side

Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center

Olympic National Park
Port Angeles, WA

A window into life in the extreme climate conditions of Hurricane Ridge.

Sitting at 5,242 ft, the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center encompasses stunning, sweeping views of the Olympic range in clear weather. However, life on aptly named “Hurricane Ridge” is dictated by the wind and snow that shapes its climate year-round. Olympic National Park is currently in the process of developing new interpretive media for one of its two top highly visited visitor centers. In preparation for this work, EDX collaborated with the park as well as local stakeholders to conduct workshops to prepare for the planning and design phases of the new exhibits. Designs will provide new content in the entrance/lobby area, fireplace and lounge orientation area, existing exhibit gallery, and theater.

Sketch showing visitors peering at a volcano cross section

Crater Lake National Park

Klamath County, OR

A place of immense beauty to awaken our imagination and curiosity seeped in the wonders of the natural world.

Crater Lake National Park, established in 1902, is located in southwest Oregon in the south-central portion of the Cascade Range. Exhibits under design highlight the park’s unique geologic history and rich natural environment through memorable hands-on immersive zones. Features include an eye-catching 3D replica and cross-section of pre-eruption Mt. Mazama that connects two floors, a dramatic 180 degree “Eruption Theater” experience, and exploratory dioramas capturing four seasons of the natural world at Crater Lake.

Sketch of exhibits, with a vignette with tactile javelinas and a jeep and graphic panels. There is a map on the floor.

Big Bend National Park Visitor Centers

Big Bend National Park, TX

Focusing on natural history and cultural stories throughout the park.

Exhibit design is currently underway for four sites in Big Bend National Park. Rio Grande Village Visitor Center is focused on the ecology of the river, highlighting the history of bi-national cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico. Magdalena House was named after Magdalena Silvas, a cook who lived there in the early 20th century. Exhibits will explore what life was like in this isolated area almost a century ago. Chisos Basin highlights the diversity of animals and habitats in the park. Persimmon Gap focuses on transportation in the remote areas of Big Bend National Park.

In 2007, EDX completed exhibits for the Panther Junction Visitor Center, interpreting the natural history of the mountains, river, and desert.

Oregon Caves National Monument

Cave Junction, OR

Discovering a place of wonder, exploration, and adventure.

Nestled into Oregon’s Siskiyou Mountains, a marble cave of fantastical formations, streams, and tiny insects contrasts with an above ground realm of towering cedars and rare plants. Exhibits in the historic visitor center of this National Monument beckon visitors to don a hard-hat and explore a re-created cave featuring insects and arachnids at hundreds of times their actual size. Families discover clicking salamanders, swooping bats, and a spotted owl as they learn about the geological and ecological history of this unique place.

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde, CO

Introducing visitors to some of the best-preserved archeological sites in the U.S.

EDX designed exhibits for the long-awaited visitor center at Mesa Verde National Park. Located just off the main highway, the center is designed to provide visitors with orientation to the park’s resources, the story of the Ancestral Pueblo people, and a place to purchase tour tickets for the spectacular cliff palaces.

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Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

Seattle, WA

Join the gold rush right in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square.

When the Seattle Unit of the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park relocated to a historic building in Pioneer Square, they called on EDX to plan and design new interpretive exhibits. We began by consulting on the building renovation, visualizing an inviting, central stairwell that draws visitors between floors and takes best advantage of natural light from the structure’s historical storefront windows.

Upon entering, visitors are welcomed through an archway and are transported to the year 1898 where they join stampeders on the treacherous journey to the Klondike. They encounter immersive environments that represent each step along the Gold Rush route: outfitting in Seattle, traveling to Alaska, crossing the Chilkoot Pass, constructing a boat to descend the Yukon river, and hunting for nuggets in the gold fields.

Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site

Ganado, AZ

Thriving on the sale of Navajo traditional weaving.

Hubbell, a traditional trading post serving the Navajo community of Ganado, has been in continuous operation since 1878. The land surrounding the wash has been occupied and visited for centuries by many cultures, including the Ancestral Puebloans, modern Pueblo peoples, Spaniards, and Navajo.

Exhibits in the visitor center feature an orientation map, a re-created trading post play area for kids, touchable components, artistic weaving-loom panel structures, and a rich historical narrative of this retail environment and its ongoing relationship with the Navajo community.

Grand Canyon National Park Verkamp’s Visitor Center

South Rim, Grand Canyon, AZ

People live at the Grand Canyon? Interpreting the South Rim community

Grand Canyon is a world-famous natural wonder. The South Rim is also home to a community of people whose livelihoods revolve around the canyon. Exhibits at Verkamp’s Curio Store (now a National Park Service visitor center) celebrate this rich and diverse community, engaged in preservation and tourism since the late 1800s.

Grand Canyon National Park Visitor Center

South Rim, Grand Canyon, AZ

From river to rim, a geologic wonder is revealed.

One of the nation’s premier National Parks, the Grand Canyon’s South Rim attracts visitors from around the world. Exhibits at Grand Canyon Visitor Center provide many of these visitors with their first opportunity to learn about the scale, geology, plants and animals, and human history of the Grand Canyon. Visitors leave inspired, informed, and ready to experience all that the park has to offer.

The Colorado River—the lifeblood of the canyon—is the central theme of the exhibits. A terrazzo river connects a “Science on a Sphere” theater-in-the-round at one end of the building to a movie theater on the other.

Grand Canyon National Park North Rim

North Rim, Grand Canyon, AZ

Quiet, isolated, and spectacular.

The Grand Canyon’s North Rim is an experience worlds apart from the bustling South Rim village. High on this plateau at over 8,000 feet, visitors find a forested island surrounded by grassland and desert.

Exhibits at this log-frame visitor center introduce a geologic history that spans nearly two thousand million years, depict the American Indians that have lived seasonally on the canyon edge for thousands of years, and welcome the visitors of today who to travel here to experience the solitude, cool air, and wilderness.

Glacier National Park St. Mary Visitor Center

Glacier, MT

At the eastern border of Glacier National Park lies St. Mary Visitor Center. In a multi-year consultation process with the Blackfeet, Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d’Oreille people, EDX worked with the park to create an award-winning interpretive exhibit that invites visitors to experience Glacier from the point of view of its original inhabitants.

Each tribe has a historical relationship to the land that is now Glacier National Park. Entering the visitor center, visitors are introduced to the park from the perspectives of the three tribes. Further exploration brings them to a dramatic diorama of a winter wolf kill and a recreated Blackfeet lodge. Accompanied throughout by the voices of American Indian people, visitors recognize shared beliefs and identify with universal experiences.

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Escalante Heritage Center

Escalante, Utah

Rising to challenges in a rugged, isolated pioneer town.

The Escalante Heritage Center’s mission is to preserve and share the history of one of the country’s most remote regions. With a focus on the Mormon settlers who established the first permanent settlements, the center’s stories are of hardship overcome, community spirit, great faith, and enduring love for a sublime landscape. EDX helped the Center to formalize their interpretive planning framework before developing an exhibit concept plan for interactive, multimedia exhibits with integrated video experiences.

The architectural firm of Naylor Wentworth Lund has created building designs that seamlessly integrate exhibits within a dramatic building overlooking the Escalante Valley. EDX created an exhibit concept plan, now a key component of fundraising efforts to implement the site and exhibits.

Coronado National Memorial

Hereford, AZ

Sampling the rich cultural blend of a border region.

Bilingual exhibits at Coronado National Monument explore the heritage shared today by the peoples of both Mexico and the United States, highlighting the ongoing influences of Spanish, American Indian, Mexican, Anglo, and other cultures.

Francisco Vásquez de Coronado’s journey in 1542—the beginning of a Spanish era of exploration and settlement in the American Southwest—is where the story begins. Coronado’s expedition failed to find the cities of gold it was seeking, yet the newcomers changed the region’s culture forever.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce, UT

Stepping back in geologic, ecological, and human time.

The story of Bryce Canyon begins 525 million years ago and continues today with the ever-changing ‘hoodoo’ rock formations that cover much of the park’s landscape. Exhibits show how time is preserved in the Grand Staircase—a series of cliffs, slopes, and terraces that stretch 150 miles south from Bryce Canyon to the Grand Canyon.

In the ecological and human scales of time, Bryce Canyon’s long association with Native American tribal groups, its superlative dark skies, and its ecological communities are introduced to visitors through interactive exhibit media.

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

Potomac, MD

Accessibility takes center stage at a historic tavern

Exhibits at Great Falls Tavern take advantage of the historic structure to help tell the story of 19th century canal building along the Potomac River. Universal design principles engage visitors through multiple senses including touch, hearing, and smell. In addition to traditional exhibit media, EDX worked closely with the Harpers Ferry Center and a panel of accessibility experts to develop a unique design implementation: ambient music emitted from each exhibit signals visitors with low vision of the availability of audio description. In addition to audio description, tactile experiences are used throughout the visitor center.

Big Bend National Park

Big Bend National Park, TX

A paleontologist’s paradise on the Rio Grande.

Few North American sites hold a fossil record as complete as Big Bend’s—from the Age of Dinosaurs to the Age of Mammals.

EDX, with Lake Flato Architects and the Big Bend Conservancy, created the Fossil Discovery Exhibit—an off-the-grid, solar-powered interpretive center showcasing the fossils of Big Bend. The open air pavilion chronicles 100 million years of geological change. 

This exhibit won a 2018 AAM Excellence in Exhibition award. 

American Alliance of Museums logo

Fossil Discovery Exhibit photographs by Casey Dunn.

Arches National Park

Moab, UT

Bridging inside and out to highlight an amazing geological story

An essential first destination for park visitors, the visitor center tells the story of the park’s rich geological and natural history. Large-scale recreations of rock features give the experience drama and scale while providing structure for exhibit elements. Multimedia exhibits help visitors plan their trip and make a hands-on connection with park resources before they venture out.

Working in collaboration with architects VCBO, EDX began with consultation on a building that takes advantage of impressive views of rock features outside, making the interior of the space a continuation of the exterior geology.