Project Summary

Morphosis Architects was awarded the contract to design and build the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas. Its challenge was to complete this massive and iconic $92 million project on time and within budget. The client wanted a breakthrough building design that would cultivate memorable experiences and inspire wonder and curiosity about nature. It also had to become an active tool for science education, demonstrating scientific principles by integrating architecture, nature, and technology.

Morphosis Architects used Bentley software to support an integrated design process – powered by BIM – that enables the simultaneous exploration of complex architectural spaces and the coordination of intricate building systems. Each discipline modeled its work and gave it to Morphosis for integration into a complete 3D model. BIM was used to coordinate work on all systems and components – from design and manufacturing to component installation.

Morphosis Architects designed and built the new museum six months early and at 6% under budget. The impressive 180,000-square-foot, 14-story structure includes ten exhibition halls, a children’s museum, an outdoor play space, a traveling gallery, and a ground-level workshop exhibit, an expansive and glass-enclosed lobby, an outdoor terrace, a 300-seat digital cinema, a retail store, an acre of roofscape, a 54-foot continuous-flow escalator contained in a 150-foot glass tube, and a museum “skin” that emulates a geologic formation.

MicroStation, Bentley Architecture, Bentley Structural Modeler, and Bentley Navigator supported the integrated, BIM-driven design process for simultaneous exploration of complex architectural spaces by many people, as well as use of rapid prototyped 3D models and 2D extractions. The project team also leveraged Bentley’s developments in cross-platform interoperability to create a seamless workflow among the architect, project consultants, and subcontractors.
  • The collaborative and transparent approach employed created an atmosphere of trust that fostered dialogue throughout the detailed BIM design process.
  • The reliance on an integrated BIM model further guaranteed the success of the project by eliminating opportunities for miscommunication.
  • Morphosis completed the project six months early, enabling the client to realize the financial benefits of opening earlier.
  • The project was finished for 6% less than the contracted project budget thanks to the integrated BIM process supported by Bentley software.