Welcoming visitors and providing a tranquil separation between the city and the Museum are the gardens designed by world-renowned landscape architect Dan Kiley. Running parallel to the Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion is a formally organized rectangular garden that measures 600 feet by 100 feet. The garden is divided into five lawns by a series of 10-foot-tall hedge lines; two paved plazas with fountains that rise to 35 feet bookend the grassy expanse. Connecting the plazas is a narrow water channel that runs the entire length of the garden. Water jets within the channel create a solid 4-foot-high water curtain that dances and sparkles with fiber optic lights. Find your place on a bench and enjoy.
Enlivening other sections of the landscape around the Museum are a grove of linden trees and a stand of Sargent crabapple trees with a periwinkle groundcover.