Rarely has a roof gotten so much attention. But like the rest of the $484 million building, the green roof of the new California Academy of Sciences formed into hillocks, lined with special soil, and seeded with native plants is groundbreaking. Today, the public finally get to see whats taken four years to create: a multistory vivarium housing a Rainforests of the World exhibit that takes you from the roots to the treetops; a giant saltwater tank housing a living coral reef; a 180-degree digital projection planetarium; a redesigned swamp with alligators; and a revamped home for the South African penguins, all housed in Pritzker Prizewinning architect Renzo Pianos 410,000-square-foot Wunderkammer. The California Academy of Sciences opening weekend festivities include multicultural music and dance performances in the band shell on the concourse, food booths, science-themed arts and crafts projects for kids, jugglers, face painters, and, appropriately enough, a rock-climbing wall. Because, you know, everyone will be climbing the walls to get in.
Sept. 27-28, 9:30 a.m., 2008