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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