Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Architectural Piece One

Renzo Paino.
California Academy of Science.

The new Academy rises on the same site of the former California Academy of Science in the Golden Gate Park. The design required the demolition of most the 11 existing buildings, built between 1916 and 1991. Its primary goal is to provide a modern facility for exhibition, education, conservation and research under one roof according to sustainable design strategies.
Natural ventilation instead of air conditioning for large parts of the building, carefully chosen building materials, an efficient use and re-use of water as well as the generation of energy are integral parts of the design. A green roof,landscape with native plant species, unifies the different functions. It undulates to accommodate the Academy's major components: the new planetarium, the rain forest exhibit and the Steinhart Aquarium entrance. In the centre of this "Living Roof" a glazed skylight covers the Piazza, while other smaller skylights allow natural light into the exhibit space and provide natural ventilation. The roof extends beyond the perimeter walls into glass canopy to provide shade,protect from the rain and generate energy through more than 55,000 photo voltaic cells in the glass. The material palette for the complex as a whole remains simple: limestone,architectural concrete,steel,aluminum and extra clear glass.
Architectural Week Magazine ( No. 405. 12 November 2008) -
Accessed on 18/08/2010

Renzo Piano Building Workshop website -
Accessed on 18/08/2010

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