Officials at the Dallas Police & Fire Pension System, which owns the Arts District's shiniest building, Museum Tower, have loudly announced that they have a solution to their glare problem, the one muddying their neighborly relations with the Nasher Sculpture Center next door.
They want the Nasher to fix their roof, and they want to pay for it. You're reading about this in every news outlet in town this morning because the pension fund just sent out a big press release about it. They've even got a splashy new website, Oculi Solution, so named because the pension fund folks want the Nasher to reorient the oculi on the museum's roof at their expense.
It's a weird move, this press release, in large part because the "oculi solution" is the same "solution" that the pension fund proposed publicly back in November. The same one that Nasher director of external affairs Jill Magnuson rejected as a "publicity stunt," "flawed" and "not a viable option." She said reorienting the oculi would drastically reduce the amount of light in the gallery, which is not such a hot thing for a museum. (Unlike the light reflecting on it, which is quite hot indeed.)
Fund officials aren't really acknowledging that this solution of theirs has already been presented and rejected by the other guys involved. But as long as we're all here and listening, they do have a few words to say about how extremely awesome that glass on their building is.
In a bit of background on the controversy, the press release states, in part:
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Until the exterior of the building went up, Museum Tower developers were not aware that the oculi sunscreen system that covers the Nasher Sculpture Center's glass roof was pointed directly at Museum Tower property, and that its high performance, energy efficient glass reflected sunlight into the galleries during certain times of the day. This was an unexpected development and an unintended consequence.
In other words: it's not Museum Tower's fault that their incredibly forward-thinking, high-tech glass is pointing at the Nasher. It's the Nasher's fault that their oculi had the bad judgement to be pointed at the place where Museum Tower would eventually be built. Got that? (If you're looking to test out this conversational style in real life, try sloshing punch on someone at a party. Don't apologize afterwards, just shout, "I'm sorry if you were offended!")
Pension fund administrator Richard Tettamant also insists in the press release, not for the first time, that moving the oculi is a minor undertaking. "The good news is that involves only a slight reconfiguration of the Nasher's sunscreen design," he writes. "The science, engineering and computer simulation proof of this solution are so strong, Museum Tower, LP has committed to pay for testing on the Nasher, as well as paying for production and installation on the entire Nasher gallery."
Tettamant adds that the Nasher has promised to evaluate the idea, and says Museum Tower and the pension fund are "anxiously awaiting their response." Because certainly they have no idea what it could possibly be. Isn't this over yet? Can we not pull this car over and let these two entities fight this out by the side of the road somewhere? The rest of us can wait in the shade.