Since moving to Dallas, I’ve cherished the opportunity to explore the many cultural and visual attractions of my new hometown. A recent visit to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, opened this past December, did not disappoint.
Though I loved the many scientific exhibits, particularly the Gems and Minerals Hall (I dream of wearing much of what I saw there on my wrist or neck), I was most excited by the architecture. The building, designed by Thom Mayne and his partners at Morphosis Architects, has received accolades for bringing bold modern architecture to Dallas and, indeed, its cubist façade is very striking in the downtown urban landscape.
Early in my career I applied to architecture school after concentrating on sculpture in college – specifically interior installation using entire rooms. The materials used in the Perot building remind me of those past experiences and how exciting materials and textures can be to interior and how you encounter them.
The museum’s exterior, which is covered in textured, pre-cast concrete panels, seems to reflect the earth’s stratified geology.
Structural glass defines the lobby of the building. Natural rock chards, at the base of the glass here, are meant to reflect the Texas landscape.
Inside, a soaring atrium rises the equivalent of 14 stories to an undulating glass ceiling that floods the halls with natural light, while the walls are a study in jutting angles of glass, metal, and concrete.
The metal-grate ceilings reveal the inner workings of the building’s ducts and conduits, and was specifically designed for young visitors to get a glimpse of the inner workings of the building.
Each of these functional areas are beautifully sculptural, and exhibits in their own right. The building is truly a piece of immersive architecture.
The next time you’re in Dallas, you must visit!