Photos: Watch the Natural History Museum of Utah take shape

The doors to the brand new Natural History Museum of Utah are officially set to open in a little over a week. On November 18, the state-of-the-art facility will welcome visitors to take sight of part of the museum’s collection of 1.2 million objects of natural history and science–think dinosaur bones, rare insects and pre-historic tools–in ten brand new, interactive galleries.

The new building, which will be called the Rio Tinto Center, features a stunning design inspired by Utah’s landscape and was built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) “gold” standards. The museum gets its name from Rio Tinto, the UK-based parent company of Utah companies Kennecott Land Company, Kennecott Exploration and Kennecott Utah Copper, who donated $15 million to the project back in 2008. Fittingly, the exterior of the museum will be partially covered in copper. The building itself is located in the University of Utah’s Research Park, allowing easy access to footpaths and trails, as well as views of the Salt Lake Valley.

Click through the gallery below to watch the building as it took shape.%Gallery-137427%

Last month, Salt Lake City also opened a The Leonardo, a combination science, technology and art museum. The addition of these two new museums are just two more reasons to visit Utah, giving travelers a little something to do indoors when not skiing, hiking, horseback riding, or taking in the incredible beauty the state has to offer.

(Photo by Stuart Ruckman)