Natural History Museum Nature Gardens Water Features

Los Angeles, CA


PACE completed two water features for the Natural History Museum’s Nature Gardens, which encompasses three and a half acres of “biologically inert” space transformed into a “living laboratory of urban biodiversity.”  The Museum envisioned the outdoor exhibit to function as a representation of the water systems in Los Angeles County, from natural streams and lakes down to the concrete canals of the city.


An interactive habitat was designed for turtles set within a beautiful 400 SF pond environment. This area features two discrete filtration systems, a pressurized biological filter within a separate tank and a gravel bed filter, which employs the use of naturally occurring bacteria to consume the excess nutrient waste produced by the turtles.


The water from the pond is linked to metaphorical concrete canals by a dry gulch representing the Los Angeles River. This channel connects to a second water feature. This water feature includes a 1,500 SF table-fountain play area for children featuring three polished granite jetties and a flat LithoCrete tabletop with water flowing over it, representing the canalized aspect of Los Angeles’ water system. Design features include chemical controllers, and chlorination and UV systems for disinfection.


Key Features:

  • 400 SF pond environment
  • High profile fountain
  • Mechanical design of filtration, disinfection, and circulation
  • 1,500 SF table-fountain play area

Mia Lehrer + Associates

Fountains / Water Features, Interactive Water Features, Lake Systems / Water Features / Pools