Perot museum of nature and science | The Plan
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Perot museum of nature and science

Morphosis

The inauguration of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Victory Park, Dallas provides the Texan city with an important architectural and cultural landmark. Named after the project’s major donor, the new museum brings together in one outstanding architecture three different public institutions: the Dallas Children’s Museum; the Dallas Museum of Natural History; and the Science Place. With the move, exhibits and activities have also been thoroughly revised.
The building marks a new, complex, multifaceted programme for the city. As well as standing in its own right as a new landmark, the architecture is a diagrammatic embodiment of its function as a place of knowledge and learning, gathering a series of different volumes, surfaces, materials and natural elements into a single composite public urban container. A simple cube rising from a broad landscaped plinth, the architecture is a blend of contrasting opposites and resolving nodes. Combining a series of contrasting elements and embellishments, it is the physical realization of the projects symbolic purpose and strategic message: unity in multiplicity.
The multifaceted volumes, surfaces and spaces bind geometries that elsewhere would be in strident contrast. The interiors too are a series of interlocking, light-filled spaces that enhance the visitor’s perceptive experience. This immersive architectural environment prompts curiosity, understanding and awe before the natural world on display by creating a subtle alternation of focused attention and broader views over the museum’s contents. Not just a mere container, the building itself is a learning tool.
The extensive plinth under which lie the auditorium and children’s museum is “xeriscaped” with desert stones and plants - an external layer heralding what lies within. The concept of stratification permeates the whole programme. The geometrical regularity of the layers of the monolithic, monochromatic...

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