Looking like a cross between a hobbit house and a space ship, San Francisco’s new California Academy of Sciences is truly an amazing accomplishment. The unique museum was re-designed by Renzo Piano and uses the latest innovations in green architecture to make a beautiful and energy efficient space for learning.
The first thing you notice when looking at the LEED certified academy is the plant covered, two and a half acre roof. This special design regulates the building’s temperature and helps filter water runoff. Photovoltaic cells surrounding the perimeter help to generate electricity. Inside the academy there’s a world of natural wonders wrapped in modern designs. Under one of the structure’s 90 foot domes is the Morrison Planetarium, and the other houses a man made rain forest, complete with tress, butterflies and birds.
The new CAS was re-built after the existing building sustained severe structural damage from the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
Slate has a great slide show, and further details here.