Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Up On The Roof

Last Friday, the boys had a day off from school so we took the opportunity to go up to San Francisco to check out the brand spanking new California Academy of Sciences. We've always loved going there, and it has been closed for a couple years for this new construction. They actually moved cross town, fish and all. But oh was it ever worth it. My parents bought the special grandparents membership so they could get the boys in with them (good because it is pricey!).
Oh my goodness, I took soooo many pictures, so I'm breaking it up into two posts.

This is a truly special building, inspiring innovations around every corner, architecture that soars. Not just your usual science museum or aquarium!

From their great website which has lots of details: "The Academy is now the largest public Platinum-rated building in the world, and also the world’s greenest museum. The Academy earned the platinum rating (highest rating possible) for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). This commitment to sustainability extends to all facets of the facility - from the bike racks and rechargeable vehicle stations outside the building to the radiant sub-floor heating inside the building to the energy-generating solar panels on top of the building!"
This is the upper part of the entrance windows, showing some of the lighting and special roof materials.This is the first roof you walk under as you enter, the black squares are mini solar panels. Wouldn't it make a great quilt design??? As you wait in line to buy your ticket, you can look across the park to the almost as new DeYoung Museum (which I haven't gone to yet). The sticking up bit is a staircase and observation platform.The roof of the building was gobsmacking amazing. I couldn't believe my eyes. I'd been reading about this for a while, so I thought I knew what to expect, "A Living Roof". But wow, just wow. The first thing I noticed was that there was a worker up on one of the domes! He appeared to be picking weeds maybe? He had a bag with him so that was our guess.
He really went all over the place. Those circle are windows that can open and close to let air in. The indisdinct stripe you can see to the right is a drainage channel with wire netting over it.

There are walkways and railings and safety ropes to clip onto when they are working on the roof. Lots of maintenance to keep get it established. The plants went in back in February, so this winter will be the first full rainy season.
It was an absolutely beautiful clear day.
The rolling hillscape of the roof echoes the hills in and around San Francisco.
Here are some of the porthole windows open.

Zach and Grandma (my mom) hanging out on the railing.

Remember the second picture up above? This is how it looks from the top of the roof. And that white box down there? Yes, it is a beehive! There were tons of bees zooming around up there. The docent told us that they were hoping to have honey for sale in the future, cool.
You can see the bandshell down in the park just past the roof. It is being earthquake retrofitted, it is quite beautiful, so I'm glad they're fixing it up instead of just razing it or replacing it.
Alex was fascinated by all the different plants and the pipe fittings.

Finally, we noticed our shadows! From left to right, Alex, Zach, Me, Dad, Mom.

1 comment:

Deb said...

Their skull collection in one of my OLDest bookmarks!