Perot Museum of Nature and Science
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science, after opening its doors at the end of 2012, received over one million visitors in its first year of operation. The museum’s exhibits are learning labs focused on biodiversity, natural history, scientific methodology, and human development. A collaborative design team envisioned the creation of a building and site that would not only house exhibits, but also be equal active partners promoting the founders’ goal to “remind us that the universe is grander than ourselves.” The dynamic site design creates outdoor learning exhibits by exposing visitors to five primary Texas ecologies and celebrating the interaction of local environmental systems with this urban structure.
The project’s outdoor plaza spaces are conceived of as a series of tectonic platforms that appear to heave out of the ground and envelop the museum’s cube form. The site’s dynamic design, contrasts with the right-angles of the cube overhead, and plays an equal role in visually promoting this attraction that will be showcased to prospective visitors. At the local level, the view of this “green plinth” from the freeway and the adjacent city streets will alert motorists and pedestrians to the presence of a compelling new development. The site platforms are meant to function as flexible event and exhibit space accommodating gatherings of various sizes throughout the day. The landscape brings the project’s spirit of learning about the natural world to the project’s planting and hardscape design concept by making a visible and sustainable expression of plant life and minerals.