After years of comprehensive studies and assessments, the Bell Museum of Natural History undertook a Predesign Study for an enhanced facility. The purpose of this study was fivefold: to determine physical space needs; assess the possible re-use of the existing building; explore other site options for a new facility; develop a strong exhibit concept; and assess project support and costs. The process began with workshops and meetings that built on previous studies to clarify the staff and board member’s vision of an enhanced Bell Museum. This was followed by an intensive research phase to determine building options and their feasibility. As the predesign phase concluded, building concept options were developed for a new facility. Three concepts were proposed: the building as a gatherer of specimens; the building as a terrain to explore; and the building as a lens for viewing the past, present and future of the natural world. These building concepts, in part or in combination, will become the basis of the project’s future schematic design, and will play an important role in the project’s interim fund-raising process.