Southern Utah University

A new modern art museum and Shakespearean theater necessitated the master planning and detailed design of a complex series of landscape spaces that knit together these disparate elements. Negotiating Utah’s challenging topography created unique opportunities for stormwater capture and treatment that interacted repeatedly with the pedestrian experience. Working in tandem with Brooks+Scarpa and Blalock and Partners as they developed the new buildings, Coen+Partners’ landscape draws inspiration from the architectural forms as well as the artistic activities within each building.

Using traditional materials in simple, innovative arrangements, C+P created a landscape that draws the connection between multiple eras, programs, and  users in a series of cohesive, dynamic spaces, including an outdoor performance green, a seminar grove, custom designed stages and benches, and multiple allées and garden spaces. The undulating mounds combine existing bronze sculpture with gnarled specimen trees that have been fostered in the extreme southern Utah climate. A babbling brook winds through the entire site, recalling Shakespeare’s well-known quote from As You Like It: “find tongues in trees, books in the running brooks/Sermons in stones and good in everything.”


LOCATION: Cedar City, Utah

COLLABORATORS: Brooks + Scarpa, Blalock and Partners

SIZE: 261,360 SF/ 6 Acres