Perot Museum of Nature and Science
The 180,000-square-foot Perot Museum was designed to resemble a sedimentary geological formation. The precast concrete facade satisfies the intent to reflect the geology and stratification of the earth’s surface, through the creation of undulating forms, which are rigorously systematic but seemingly random. The museum opened to the public on Dec 1, 2012, a month ahead of schedule and has won much recognition for its dynamic complex design.
Knowing that the colors of natural strata vary, the architect selected a gray concrete mixture that would derive natural mottling in each panel. Gate Precast worked in a design-assist role to define the cast-as-grey precast concrete cladding which features both convex and concave horizontal striations.
Precast System Details
Over 700 unique grey-as-cast architectural precast concrete panels.
The project was divided into three very different areas: the "cube" or tower, the atrium, and the plinth
The cube, the largest portion of the museum, consists of 70,000 sf of precast (350 pieces).
Precast Concrete Panels averaged 8’ tall and 28’ long with alternating 20° sloped ends.
Plinth consists of 220 panels amassing 27,000 sf of curved, canted, and radiused precast concrete panels that follow a serpentine path around the perimeter site.
Plinth panels ranged from 8’ x 28’ to 2’ x 6’.
Atrium, located inside the tower, contains 100 complex architectural precast panels.
Atrium panels averaged 10’ x 10’.
90% of panels on the Plinth and Atrium had either a concave or convex radius
Precast Concrete Advantages
Complex Geometry – Precast concrete responded to virtually any shape the design team required.
Cost Effectiveness – The exterior facade of the building was extremely economical compared to other potential options.
Locality – The panels were manufactured relatively close to the project site cutting down on long transportation.
Repeatability – The process for making precast panels allowed for a systematic approach to design and documentation of the facades.
Integration – Compared to cast in place concrete, the precast panels were digitally modeled which allowed greater integration/coordination with other building systems and trades.
Perot Museum In the News
Museum to Open, Dec. 1, 2012: See New Website
Morphosis' Musuem of Nature & Science Facade: Gate Precast
Sept. 30, 2011 – The Architects' Newspaper
Concrete Crews Decipher Puzzling Perot Project
Oct. 17, 2011 – ENR Texas & Louisiana
WATCH: THE BUILDING OF PEROT
Digital Design Resources
From the Architect:
The precast façade minimizes the use of material through a systematized, standard panel that maximizes modularity, interchangeability, and the appearance of a complex, dynamic façade. The panels were designed and organized into categories of forms or families from which rubber molds were created.
The resultant precast concrete façade satisfies the intent to reflect the geology and stratification of the earth’s surface, through the creation of undulating forms, which are rigorously systematic but seemingly random.
- Jacksonville, FL
- Morphosis Architects
- Balfour Beatty
- Museum of Nature and Science
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