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The West Hollywood Design District Presents Decades of Design 1948–2014
November 19, 2014–February 2015
The first-ever retrospective exhibition uncovering, examining and celebrating six decades of rich design history in West Hollywood. The curated ­­gallery will showcase design pioneers and present tastemakers through bold graphics, photographs and original product.

FOG Design + Art Fair
January 15–18, 2015
Benefiting the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), FOG Design+Art is a four-day celebration and exploration of modern and contemporary design, architecture, and art with dynamic exhibits, custom installations, art galleries, lectures, and discussions with leaders in the art and design worlds.

Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio
February 20–May 24, 2015
This February, the Hammer Museum will present the West Coast debut of Provocations: The Architecture and Design of Heatherwick Studio, featuring the imaginative work of British designer Thomas Heatherwick and his London-based studio. Heatherwick is known for his unique design concepts ranging from products, such as a handbag for Longchamp, to large-scale structures like the new distillery for Bombay Sapphire Gin.

 

 

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« The 2013 AIA Gold Medal Goes to Thom Mayne | Main | NASA's 'Earth As Art' Offers Eye-Catching Images »
Friday
Dec072012

Morphosis-Designed Perot Museum Opens in Dallas

Image by Mark Knight via Life of an ArchitectThe Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the latest work of Los Angeles-based Morphosis (the firm of Pritzker prize winner Thom Mayne), opened to the public last weekend in Dallas, Texas. Described by the NY Times as “alluring but unsettling,” the building features a ten-story concrete cube punched out by a transparent diagonal cylinder displaying one of the building’s elevators. The theatricality of the building’s circulation elements multiplies throughout the building—producing an effect that NYT reviewer Edward Rothstein describes as typically post-modern: “the visitor is led through a cosmos that can itself be dizzying: miniature worlds of systems and interactions; invocations of things known and half known; sensations, simulations and reflections; accounts of dissolution and evolution.”

The size and scope of the museum is meant to handle large crowds (6,000 visitors attended the opening day of the museum, according to the Dallas News). Five floors house 11 permanent exhibit halls. The lower level of the cube contains a modular traveling exhibit hall, an education wing with six learning labs, a flexible space auditorium, and a children's museum including outdoor play space and a courtyard. The plinth level includes the main lobby (inhabited by a 35-foot Malawisaurus fossil), access to a roof deck, the Café, a 297-seat, multimedia 3D theater, and the Museum Shop.

With the addition of the 185 million, 180,000-square-foot museum complex, Dallas continues to rack up architectural significance. The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, designed by Santiago Calatrava, opened earlier in 2012. The Perot Museum joins buildings like the Cooper Union in New York, the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters in Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Federal Building among Mayne’s portfolio of unusual and original public buildings, and enforces the narrative that a Mayne building is the 21st century status symbol.

As relayed by the Life of an Architect blog, at the museum's opening, Mayne described the building’s purpose to enhance the public experience of Dallas: “It is a fundamentally public building – a building that opens up, belongs to and activates the city.” (Maybe all this concern about activating the street is at least in part a reaction to recent criticism of the Cooper Union’s contribution of the streetscape of its block in Manhattan?)

Image by Mark Knight via Life of an Architect

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