The Perot Museum of Nature and Science, conceived as an immersive, curiosity-stimulating environment, resides in Victory Park within the heart of the Arts District in uptown Dallas.
The lighting design, by Office for Visual Interaction, reinforces the overall themes of the project, emphasizing the dynamic juxtaposition between the natural and man-made environments and the exploration of unexpected spatial relationships.
A glowing atrium core visually bursts through the façade’s crevice-like glazing, accentuating the building’s sharp, sculpted form. Defined vertical surfaces within are more intensely illuminated, while the exterior façades glow softly from floodlights positioned in the surrounding landscape. A continuous-flow escalator emerges from the façade, illuminated by a central light line that reinforces the sense of upward movement. The interior glow from the entrance level allows the building to hover, giving the impression of a gravity-defying, floating cube above.
Color temperatures are playfully calibrated to enhance the building’s distinctive nighttime identity. In a dynamic juxtaposition of visual elements, the interior, warmer color temperature contrasts against the cooler exterior escalator, emphasizing the unexpected spatial relationships of the building.
Inside, lighting strategies continue to inspire visitors to engage with the building. In the main lobby, light lines of different lengths are arranged in a ‘stitch-pattern’ and suspended above the undulating metal mesh ceilings, creating a sense of movement that complements the refined industrial style of the architecture.
Denser fields of luminaires are clustered towards focal areas that require higher light levels, while dispersed patterns are used to illuminate circulation areas. Oversized pod-shaped forms become crystalline lanterns leading visitors thru transition zones.
Luminous lines provide ambient light levels and draw visitors throughout the museum, creating an intuitive way-finding system such that escalators, bridges, and stairways dramatically penetrate through spatial voids.
In the theater, fluid light lines form unexpected waves of light and shadow, evoking a sense of discovery and insight for visitors.