Monday, March 21, 2011

The Academy of Sciences

I love this photo of my Son-in-law, Jason! Taken at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, he is admiring his work as part of the design and engineering team that rebuilt it a few years ago.
The project was headed up by the famous architect Renzo Piano, and Jason was on the team that designed the lighting for the museum.

Last week, my "girls" took me to the museum for the first time. It was such a fun day!
Here we are inside The Rainforests of the World exhibit, a four story jungle complete with all kinds of flora and fauna.

The jungle is quite warm and moist inside. Not good for grandmas like me, but good for all the butterflies, birds, insects, reptiles and tropical plants that live here.

The 90 foot diameter dome is the largest spherical rainforest exhibit in the world and is kept at about 82 to 85 degrees and 75% humidity.

John Crittenden photo
Once again, I forgot my camera! I took pictures with my camera phone and most of them turned out ok, however I did "borrow" a couple of photos from a few talented photographers.

Ingrid Taylar photo
Looking up inside the jungle dome, you can see the skylights of the Living Roof.
We didn't get to see the Living Roof this time, which is planted with California native plants.

Inside, there were butterflies everywhere!

Thank God they had the snakes locked up!

As you can see, underneath the jungle is an aquarium. After climbing the four stories to the top of the jungle exhibit, we took a glass elevator down, "under water!"

This is the Amazonian Flooded Forest.

John Crittenden photo

John Crittenden photo

The girls and I took time to admire the fish.

Ingrid Taylar photo
Here is an example of what Jason designed. It's called the Water Planet exhibit and showcases water as our planet's most important resource. The walls emulate the ebb and flow of water, all done with lighting.

Ingrid Taylar photo
Besides the jungle and aquarium, there is also an amazing planetarium, as well as the African Penguin exhibit. We had a blast watching them swimming around and were lucky to catch their feeding time.
Jason also designed the lighting for the African Penguin exhibit, a very complex design, simulating 365 days in the life of these penguins. Their mating rituals are determined by location of the sun and the hemisphere.

Ingrid Taylar photo
The outside of the Academy of Sciences shows the Living Roof. Notice how the roof line echos the hills of San Francisco. It's 190,000 square foot rooftop is planted exclusively with 1.7 million native plants! This is Renzo Piano's masterpiece!

Put this wonderful museum on your bucket list when you visit San Francisco.
There is nothing quite like it anywhere in the world!
If you can't personally visit the museum, then check out their incredible website here. It is almost like being there!

Live webcams let you check out what the penguins are doing right now!
Feeding times are at 10:30 am and 3:00 pm. Click on the arrow to "spy" on them! They are so cute!
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Sarah said...

Delores, I've never been to this museum, and it is now on my list. Thank you for sharing these photos of this amazing place. How exciting to take a glass elevator down into the aquarium. ~ Sarah

Babs said...

I'll bet you and "your girls" had a fun time. Beautiful exhibits and I'll bet the little ones enjoyed the butterflies. Lovely way to spend the day.

Designs on 47th Street said...

How impressive your son in law was in on the design. What a fabulous looking place to visit. It reminds me a bit of the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha..the aquarium and the jungle.

Loved the pictures. :)

janette@ The2Seasons said...

I love that place. I used to go there when our daughter, who has the blog with me, lived there.

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Thanks for sharing your trip there. Looks like your son did a great job on the lighting. Looks like a fun place to visit I would have probably had to skip the elevator ride in the water. :D

Lori E said...

I was loving it until I saw the snake, locked up or not. Yikes. Can't do snakes at all....
Looks like the kind of place that will tire little ones and grandmas right out.
My husband's Iphone takes better pictures than my camera does half the time. Yours looked fine.

Tricia Rose Rough Linen said...

Did any butterflies land on you? And aren't the jellyfish chic!

NanaDiana said...

What a gorgeous place...something for your sil to be proud to be part of .... what fun it must have been to visit there! xxoo Diana

Kathysue said...

Hi D, these are amazing and what a wonderful day you had with your girls!! jason must be quite the brillant engineer to have created such beauty, amazing!!! Fun seeing you with your baby granddaughter, Kathysue

Renée Finberg said...

what a fun day!!!


Jacqueline said...

Delores, this is fantastic! I love those blue walls that undulate like water. What a fabulous place and how fun to have him in on the project. What a fun day!

Julie Harward said...

What an awesome place, I could spend all day there! And isn't it the most fun to go with the grands?! ;D

Tracie~MyPetiteMaison said...

Oh Delores,
I just want to go live at The Academy of Sciences and of course, all the sites to be seen around Golden Gate Park. We are so fortunate to live so close to such beauty, art, life in San Francisco. Thank you for sharing this with us, makes me want to pack up my car and head out again!

You asked about using my little Wine Country porch, sure, you may, just link back to me (know you will ;) but thank you so for asking.

Wasn't the weather today amazing? Don't miss the winds at all, hope all is good at your homes with that, we had so much clean up and it will continue for a couple more days (recycle bins full and then some). Good workout but what a scary night/morning wasn't it?

Happy week, hoping we don't get rained out in Alameda this time!

Kathy said...

Just another fantastic post, and how proud you must be of your beautiful daughter and grandaughters her uber talented hubby!

Bargain Decorating with Laurie said...

Delores, what an awesome place! I scrolled through the post with my mouth wide open in amazement! Your son-in-law and his co-workers did an amazing job with the lighting. I'd love to go see this in person. Thanks for the tour. laurie

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