It seems fitting for the first blog post in my re-worked “World as Museum” website and blog to talk about a trip we made to the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. If there’s a museum that encompasses “the world,” it’s surely this: rainforest, coral reefs, dark matter . . . .
And re-worked the museum also is: the new (well, pretty new) building by Renzo Piano that replaced an older one is spectacular — open, light filled, accommodating hordes of school groups dashing around without bumping into grandads like me; and most interesting, a public building that self-ventilates.
Skylights and big glass panels open and close; shades draw to keep the sun out; breezes lift and circulate with apparently minimal fossil fuel expenditure.
Most cool of all is the enormous green roof, a garden of native plants draped around artificial hills that supposedly imitate the San Francisco landscape.
The planetarium is also pretty wonderful: we saw a show about the dark matter of the universe that was amazingly detailed and seriously scientific in its approach.