Inspired by the city and nature

We are building
a museum

To understand the city and inspire the
conservation of the nature that sustains it.

It’s about life
and future

Exhibition spaces to discover
the landscapes of Western Mexico.


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This museum is being built with the
participation of everyone


An idea is born

The Environmental Sciences Museum is a project that was born from a proposal by Federico Solórzano Barreto to the University of Guadalajara over 30 years ago, to create a Paleontology Museum which he later called “The Museum of Man". In 2001, the University Cultural Center Trust was established and the formal museum planning began. The concepts that now guide this project that is being constructed in Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico, were developed from 2009 onwards. The Museum invites us to rethink our relationship with nature in these times when, for the first time in human history, most people live in cities. Hence, its mission of: "understanding the city and inspiring the conservation of the nature that sustains it.

The challenge

Turning imagination into reality has not been simple. The first seeds began to germinate when the idea of designing a "modern" natural history museum was proposed, one that also talked about "life and future". This presented a significant challenge, as today's landscapes are very different from those that existed when natural history museums first emerged and the future we are building seems not to be compatible with life.

The proposal

Most of us humans live in cities. The city is the “great invention” of the new geological phenomenom that some scientists call the Anthropocene. However, our cities do not exist in isolation; they depend on their natural surroundings to survive. Cultural evolution occurs at a faster pace in the city than in other landscapes. The city concentrates political, economic, scientific, religious and military powers that shape the course of humanity. The powerful urbanites will determine the future of nature. Yet, many are unaware that the functioning of cities relies on nature. It is essential that we find solutions to current socio-ecological problems of cities and rethink our relationship with nature.

The Building


The building that houses the Environmental Sciences Museum was designed through an international competition that selected the architectural firm Snøhetta. The architects drew inspiration from the colonial architecture of Guadalajara's historic center but acknowledged the constraints imposed by nature on the city, evoking the process of water erosion that sculpted the Río Santiago gorge that imposed limits to the growth of Guadalajra. Conceptually, water erosion gave the building an organic form and connected its interior courtyards in a central "canyon" opening a passway to the vistors.

The Building


The 22,000 m2 building was designed following the principles of "green architecture" to minimize energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. It is an exhibition of sustainable architecture in line with a city model that respects the rights of people and their environment. We aspire to achieve international LEED certification for sustainable buildings.

  • 12 Rooftop-thematic gardens (2,138 m2)
  • 7 Permanent exhibition galleries, with approximately 200 exhibits
  • 2 Temporary exhibition galleries
  • 4 Restaurants/coffee shops
  • 1 Auditorium for 250 people
  • 1 Community development laboratory
  • 4 Areas for classrooms/laboratories/science workshops for school practices
Construction timelapse
Aerial view of the building
Building's progress gallery


The museum will feature over 200 interactive scientific and artistic exhibits distributed across 7 thematic galleries.

Take a stroll through a green public park and gardens that surround the building and visit one of the most biodiverse rooftops in the country.


Investigates our history from a socio-environmental perspective to collectively build a sustainable future.


Discovers how soil is a vast, living organism that provides us with food and analyzes the interactions between rural and urban landscapes.


Encompasses urban complexity and how our consumption decisions impact the environment and human rights.


Explores the significance of global ocean systems in the natural and social processes of the planet.


Together we will design this gallery!


Acknowledges that mountains provide valuable environmental services to the city.


Explores alternatives for sustainable water management.