Natural History Museum Nature Gardens Water Features

Los Angeles, CA


PACE completed two water features for the Natural History Museum’s Nature Gardens, which encompass 3.5 acres of “biologically inert” space transformed into a “living laboratory of urban biodiversity.” The Museum envisioned the outdoor exhibit representing the water systems in Los Angeles County, from natural streams and lakes to the City’s concrete canals.


An interactive habitat for turtles was designed within a beautiful 400-square-foot 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 excess nutrient waste produced by the turtles.


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 that includes a 1,500-square-foot table and fountain play area for children. There are three polished granite jetties and a flat LithoCrete tabletop with water flowing over it, representing the canalized aspect of Los Angeles’s water system. Design features include chemical controllers and chlorination and ultraviolet systems for disinfection.


Key Features:

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

Mia Lehrer + Associates

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