Greater Zion Visitor Center

Client: Hunt Design / Watts Construction

Location: St. George, Utah, USA

Opened: June 2023

Key Team Members: Christina Martin (lead), Jonathan Lebovic, Steeve Vajk, Lisa Passamonte Green, Mallory Paddock, Nicole Eng, Steven Young

Photographer: David Green

Description: The Visitor Center was designed with the goal of being an immersive family-friendly experience that celebrates the natural wonders of southwest Utah.

The lighting was designed to celebrate nature, while also enhancing the floor-to-ceiling graphic wall displays and the interactive map, accenting the scenic elements, and illuminating the live animal displays found within the Visitor Center Experience.

Designed in two main layers of light: one to functionally light the space, illuminate the educational text and graphics for legibility and one to highlight the beauty of the nature shown in the graphics and in the beautiful scenic rock work elements at four distinct times of day (Dawn, Midday, Sunset, and Night). The lighting seamlessly transitions from the soft hues of dawn to the tranquil glow of twilight, changing the ambiance of the Visitor Center every fifteen minutes. All fixtures are controlled by DMX, allowing for discrete control over each fixture to craft the exact color and tone desired for each moment of the simulated full-day cycle.

The rock work elements include a full-size slot canyon experience that the guests can explore and the animal habitats within the space. Faux trees highlighted by the faux “natural” light complete the immersive experience. Each detail is carefully illuminated to evoke the beauty and grandeur of Utah’s landscapes, creating a truly mesmerizing environment.

The interactive map includes projected video animations showcasing the area’s four state parks. Lighting for the interactive map was carefully curated to enhance the topography of the map when projections were not in use.

Every part of the Visitor Center lighting design is not just about illumination—it’s about storytelling. From dawn to dusk, every element of the lighting is carefully crafted to captivate and inspire, inviting guests to explore the wonders of southwest Utah in a whole new light.

Owner: Washington County, Utah

Scope of Work: All public-visible interior exhibit and visitor center areas.

Fixture/LED Manufacturer(s):

Awards: Lumen West Award of Merit, 2024