Perot Museum of Nature and Science – Post #6

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In 2013, Thom Mayne helped design the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, TX.


The building was designed to inspire awareness of science through an immersive and interactive environment. The way the building is shaped makes it come off as a floating cube over a landscape. 15Perot-Museum-MA-1916

The building integrates a variety of sustainability including a rainwater collection system that captures run-off water from the roof and parking lot. The building has secured from the Green Building Initiative the highest possible 4 Green Globes. It obtained a rating of an overall 85% on the Green Globes rating scale and 100% for its design and its sustainable performance measures.


The building features a 54-foot continuous flow escalator housed within a 150-foot glass casing that extends diagonally outside the building cube. To maximize sustainability, the building also features LED lighting, off-grid energy generation technology and solar-powered water heating.

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science makes me feel curious to learn more, which I believe is a good thing considering it’s a museum of nature and science. The materials of the building are a bit different from what I believe people are used to Thomas Mayne using, but the unique shape captures his style perfectly. I like how the building looks at night as well, it is a building which stands out both light and day. I hope I have the chance to visit and experience a Thomas Mayne building in person.

-Austin Branch

Thom Mayne – Post #5

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Thom Mayne is an American architect who was born in 1944. Based in Los Angeles, Mayne is the principal architect for the firm Morphosis in Santa Clara, CA.



Thom graduated in architecture in 1968 at the University of Southern California and received his master’s degree at Harvard ten years later. Mayne is a founding member of Sci-Arc (Southern California Institute of Architectura) and has also won the Pritzker Prize in 2005.


One of Mayne’s most notable works is Diamond Ranch High School in Pomona, CA. The style is known as expressionist modern and was created on a steep hillside which was once deemed unusable. Thom describes his approach to designs as experimental. Most of his works are known for their bold designs, striking a balance between sculptural and monolithic forms. This particular building includes lots of windows for light and an abstract form made from materials such as steel.

I enjoy looking at Mayne’s work because each building is unique and not the status quo for whatever its traditional purpose may be. His buildings make me feel curious, wanting to learn more about them and explore the interiors. I wish there was maybe another element to his design like more color, but they are interesting nonetheless.

-Austin Branch

Rem Koolhaas

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Catherine Wahpeconiah | Post 5

Remment Lucas “Rem” Koolhaas is a dutch architect, architectural theorist, and urbanist. Koolhaas is considered one of the most important architectural thinkers and urbanists of his generation.  In 2000, Koolhaas won the Pritzker Prize, which is  awarded annually “to honor a living architect or architects whose built work demonstrates a combination of those qualities of talent, vision and commitment, which has produced consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture.”

bp-5-1(Rem Koolhaas, taken 1987)

Koolhaas has his own architectural firm, founded in 1975 with Greek architect  Elia Zenghelis, along with Madelon Vriesendorp and Zoe Zenghelis. The firm is called the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). One of the first notable projects completed by OMA was the Netherlands Dance Theater. Completed in 1987, this building was the first to showcase Koolhaas’ ideas and vision. bp-5-2

The theater has a structure of steel beams and girders, using metal cladding with sheet rock covered with stucco, marble and gold foil. The roof has a self-supporting structure of a double layer of trapezoid folded sheet steel. bp-5-3

I really like this building because of its modern leanings. The gold foil adds a unique element that looks cool and ties in to the other features of the interior.

Lister County Courthouse

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This is one of Asplund’s most famous buildings. It was built in the year 1917 in Solvesborg, Sweden. It has an urban context with a Mannerist style. This building is the most theatrical  building that Asplund ever built.  The thing that makes the building so theatrical is the  design that he gave the four faades. They each have a different  characteristic to them that makes the theatrical feel so apparent. They are designed like stage sets that do not relate to one another or tell much about what is happening.






Villa Sturegården

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The architect that I was assigned was Gunnar Asplund. Gunnar Asplund was a Swedish architect, mostly known for his representation of Nordic Classism. The first building that he built was the Villa Sturegården. Villa Sturegården was a house that he built in the town of Nyköping, Sweden, and it was completed in the year 1913. This was a free-standing two story house with neoclassic style. On the first floor of the house it had the kitchen, the living room, rooms for the parents, children, and servants. This early work by Gunnar Asplund was said to have reflected his attention for detail. There are numerous interior details that have his personal mark. Asplund also designed a number of the original  items for the house, such as: tables, chairs, sofa, bookcase, and weather vane.






Big Ben

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Post 4 – James Livingstone

It is arguably the most famous clocktower in the world. It is a popular symbol of British architecture and history. It has been featured in countless films and television shows from James Bond to Shanghai Knights.

London Big Ben and traffic on Westminster Bridge

I visited London in 2014 and it was my favorite building of all the ones i saw. It is situated right along next to the Houses of Parliament and the river Thames.


It is a spot that you won’t want to miss when visiting London, England. It is built in Gothic Revival style and was completed in 1859.


Rockefeller Center and Plaza

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I didn’t get to spend nearly enough time here. I would have loved to join the crowd of people enjoying a New York City evening at the Rockefeller Plaza ice rink. It was below sidewalk level, so one could look down into a new world. It felt like a friendly place with all the world flags and interesting things to look at. Then I went inside the Rockefeller Building, which was once the tallest building in the world.


See how I couldn’t photograph the whole building at once? This was before panorama existed on iPhones. The elevator ride was fast and clear to the outside, so my friends and I could watch the journey. It also had fun multi-color lights. I recommend chewing gum while riding because your ears will need to pop very quickly!


At the top, there were some escalators that led to the “outdoor” observation decks. There were thick glass panels, which made it impossible to take good pictures! The thin lines between panels made it windy and cold too. The Empire State building has green lights in this picture. On other parts of the deck, I could look out at the water (which was recognizable because it didn’t have lights) and see the Statue of Liberty. I think visiting during the day would have been interesting for comparison.

Considering the building and the Plaza, I liked being in the Plaza better. The view was nice from the Top of the Rock, but this was the perspective of the ultra-rich John D. Rockefeller, which I just couldn’t relate to.

The Hand Hotel

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The Hand Hotel is a hotel in Fairplay, Colorado. It was built in 1931, by Jake and Jessie Hand, and has become a central building in Fairplay since then. My experience with the Hand Hotel has been only through Fairplay Burro Days, when my family goes to Fairplay to take part in a weird event called burro racing where you race up a mountain pass while leading a donkey. Anyway, the race starts and ends in front of the Hand Hotel, and event officials call out announcements from the deck of the hotel throughout the day. After the race, the hotel hosts a banquet for all of the racers and volunteers.  The building is particularly memorable to me because it is at the center of what has been the best part of the summer since I was 7. For someone who’s never actually stayed at the Hand Hotel, I’ve spent a lot of time there.


The building itself is interesting for a number of reasons. For one, the giant “Hotel” sign makes it the most noticeable building by far in Fairplay, a tiny mining town with a population of less than 1000 people. The inside of the building is warm and cozy, with a fireplace and a sunroom, and all the rooms have various old west themes. Like a lot of old buildings, it’s also widely believed to be haunted. People have come up with all sorts of spirit encounters, from a biting demon dog in the basement to “grandma hand” who just wants to make sure that her room stays tidy. I’ve certainly never seen a ghost, and neither has anyone I know personally, but the stories add to the interest of the building.


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My first blog starts off with Epcots Spaceship Earth.  This building was constructed in the early 1980’s with help from science fiction writer Ray Bradbury.  Spaceship Earth is a very entertaining building that I first witnessed this spring with my girlfriend.  I have very good memories of this building and I always will remember the first time I saw it and how impressed I was that there was an entire Disney ride inside of it. 


Devon Tower

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Devon Tower

The Devon Tower is a staple to OKC life.  To some non Oklahoma natives, Devon is the only real sky scraper in OKC.  Jon Pickard was the architect in 2009 till the completion in 2012.  The first time I was able to be in the building, I was fortunate enough to go all the way to the top floor.  Just being able to marvel in such a huge engineering feat is absolutely spectacular.   When no other buildings around it currently block much of your view from the fifty second floor the view at sunset can be breath taking.