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New Views of the Perot Museum


by Jerome Weeks 6 Nov 2009

Back in September, a video and architectural renderings of the new Perot Museum of Nature & Science were released. Groundbreaking on the $185 million building happens later this year with construction scheduled to be completed in 2013. But a recent visit to the website of the design firm Morphosis — prompted by lead architect Thom […]

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Perot view

Back in September, a video and architectural renderings of the new Perot Museum of Nature & Science were released. Groundbreaking on the $185 million building happens later this year with construction scheduled to be completed in 2013.

But a recent visit to the website of the design firm Morphosis — prompted by lead architect Thom Mayne being named to  President Obama’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities — uncovered new, even more detailed images. The Morphopedia models give a much more vivid sense of a chief characteristic of many of Mayne’s daring designs: They often look almost ramshackle or left unfinished.

In fact, somewhat like the Wyly Theatre, the Perot Museum on two sides will look as though it’s suspended above the ground, as if it might fall, held up only by angled columns that seem insufficient for the task. Unlike the Wyly, the effect doesn’t make the building seem to rise (the Wyly’s tubes draw the eyes upward) but more as though the museum is crumbling or sliding downhill. This effect is amplified by the external escalator that looks as though it’s slipping down the southeast side of the bulding, while the walls around it gape open.

If some North Texans are not exactly warming to the hard-edged, industrial qualities of the Wyly — which, just to be perverse, I’ve started to like — the even more-radical Perot may well give them conniptions.Perot and buses

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  • Rawlins Gilliland

    Amazing. As for those having ‘conniptions’:
    People who favor building in Dallas more ‘traditional’ or ‘classic’ architecture have the Crescent or the Informart….neither of which look any more comfortable in Dallas than the Parthenon does in Nashville.

    There are a gillion older cities with trillions of great classic buildings. It strikes me as pretentious and ultimately perverse to attempt to build and buy a historically based architectural homage pedigree in a world that was built as an economic epicenter. Dallas.

    A city that is relatively young ( and sadly has shown almost no interest in its past ) should be the leader in modern cutting-edge architecture. Which at one time Dallas seemed to be en route to being….So the new Wyly and ATT PAC and the Audubon Center (and even Jerry’s Temple in Arlington) and this great new museum…. as a native Dallasite here who believes Texans have for better ot worse always looked forward not backwards: what’s not to like? Or love.