A few days ago, Thom Mayne unveiled his $185 million museum design for the Perot Museum of Nature and Science at Victory Park in Dallas, which is set for groundbreaking later this fall. ”As instruments of education and social change, museums have the potential to shape our understanding of ourselves and the world in which we live…As our global environment faces ever more critical challenges, a broader understanding of the interdependence of natural systems is becoming more essential to our survival and evolution. Museums dedicated to nature and science play a key role in expanding our understanding of these complex systems,” explained Mayne.
More about the museum after the break.
Resting on a 4.7 acre site and providing 180,000 sqf of display space in its 14 story high structure, the new facility is designed to engage all visitors by invigorating their minds and ultimately “broaden individuals’ and society’s understanding of nature and science.”
As visitors approach the museum, they are led through two native Texas ecologies, a forest of large native canopy trees and a terrace of native desert xeriscaping. These two ecologies intersect, marking a large plaza. The landscaped roof, an acre featuring several native plants, seems to lift up and draw visitors through a compressed space into the more expansive entry lobby. Once in the lobby, visitors are confronted with one of Mayne’s signature design features, a 54-foot continuous-flow escalator than is contained in a 150-foot tube-like structure. These escalators bring visitors up the sky-lit atrium to the uppermost level of the museum where a fully glazed balcony stretches high above the city, providing breathtaking views of downtown Dallas.
Once at the top, a clockwise spiral path brings visitors past the display areas. ”This dynamic spatial procession creates a visceral experience that engages visitors and establishes an immediate connection the the immersive architectural and natural environment of the museum,” explained Mayne.
The museum was conceived as a public building that would become a part of Dallas and help activate the city. ”By integrating architecture, nature and technoloy, the building demonstrates scientific principles and stimulates curiosity in our natural surroundings,” added Mayne.
As seen on World Architecture News.