Thursday, November 6, 2008

California Academy of Science

During our weekend in San Francisco, we also visited the California Academy of Science. There was a long line for tickets, though the membership line was considerably shorter. It is possible to make reservations on-line and I understand there is a kiosk available where you can pick up your ticket using your credit card.

We didn’t get much time to wander around the building because The Academy was scheduled to close at three for a Halloween event and we had reservations for lunch at the Moss Room. In our group, food trumps most other events.

The building was designed by Renzo Piano using all the latest green technology to create sustainable architecture. Piano has a resume as long as a keyboard including the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

The California Academy of Science has a lovely light hi-tech feeling with opportunities for sensory overload in every direction.

The lines for the rainforest and Morrison Planetarium were impossible, but we did meet Claude the 13-year-old alligator.

I was thrilled to see that the seahorse railing surrounding the Alligator Swamp was saved from the original building:

The penguin habitat is a big hit with everyone because they are just so darned cute to watch. Did you know that penguins mate for life? If you want to know all about their mates and more, they have their own blog and no less than three penguincams devoted to them!

We did get a brief glimpse of some the beautiful displays of the Steinhart Aquarium:

This giant sea bass at least 70 years old and weighs 165 pounds. He can live up to 100.

I've come up with a couple of captions. Do you have some captions to suggest for the photos in this post?
"Just on my way tangobaby to pick a shade of lipstick":

"Is he still following me?":

Last, but not least, we had just enough time to visit the Living Roof. The 2 ½ acre roof blends in beautifully into the environment of the park. Architect Piano said the roof design “is like lifting up a piece of the park and putting a building under it.” It serves as great natural cooling system, keeping the building ten degrees cooler inside.


In the spring, the roof’s native plantings should be in full bloom:

The De Young Museum as seen from the Living Roof:

All in all, the Academy of Science is a very exciting and inspiring place that I look forward to visiting again and again.


Relyn Lawson said...

I love, love, love that the penguins have their own blog!! How wondrous our world is. That albino alligator is just plain creepy looking. I adore the seahorse railing. I just love sculpture. Here's another place to put on my wish list for when I finally make it out to visit California.

tangobaby said...

Your photos turned out so great! It's still hard for me to adapt to the new building and there are things about the old one that I miss very much, but I think this is such an amazing environment especially for kids. And the roof is magnificent. A docent was explaining to us how it all works. Just the coolest thing ever!

Dutchbaby said...

Hi Relyn,

I agree about Claude the Alligator - crrreepy. Our itinerary for your visit is fleshing out. Please take note, Dr. Bird!

Hey Tangobaby,

I misst the old building also, it seemed to have had more majesty to it. That doesn't mean I don't like this new building - it's just different.

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