Post image for High Desert Museum

High Desert Museum

Project Info

Bend, Oregon
75,000 sf
Completed in 1996

This museum, located in Central Oregon, has grown very quickly from a small facility to a large, multi-faceted organization that is widely recognized for high-quality educational programs and facilities. The museum features exhibits about the natural history and cultural development of the high desert region. Over the past 20 years, Hacker has provided master planning, site planning, and building design for the museum complex, which includes permanent indoor and outdoor exhibit spaces, a museum shop, a temporary exhibit gallery, a cafe and full curatorial facilities.

As the population of Bend has increased and adjacent open land has become scarce, the original design intent of minimizing the physical and visual impact of the buildings and preserving the natural area has become increasingly more critical. The buildings are a cluster of simple, barn-like structures with extensive native stone and wood finishes. The building interior continues the palette of warm, natural materials. A broad gallery hall unites the museum exhibit rooms resulting in spaces that are welcoming and intimate, while at the same time accommodating to large groups of people. Hacker has continued to serve the museum with eight master additions.