Architectural Photography: California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
A few months ago, we shared an animated view of the Bay Lights, our video and images of the large-scale LED public art installation at the Bay Bridge in Northern California...
Another highlight from the weekend was a visit to the California Academy of Arts, a favorite destination in the city- the Renzo Piano-designed California Academy of Sciences museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park.
While the innovative strategies and sustainable technologies employed at this singular museum- the 'greenest' in the world- are indeed impressive, our photos below tend to focus more on the user experience in relation to the glass and metal architecture and multi-story volumes.
The sense of space and interior geometries at this unique structure- housing a digital planetarium and spherical 4-story rainforest dome, among other exhibits- establishes a strong connection to the building's exterior and landscape beyond in unexpected, experiential ways.
The undulating vegetated roof is reflected in the interior architecture's movement, openings and forms at the museum's ceiling, and upon traveling up several open levels and a stair to the exterior, visitors encounter the landscaped space via upper level access.
The unusual transition from a rigid structural system of manmade materials and high-tech materials (including a photovoltaic array spanning the length of the entrance), upward to an organic, growing rooftop landscape makes the experience of the building that much more meaningful, functional, and interactive.