Let Us Atom

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 what’s 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 Prize–winning architect Renzo Piano’s 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

 
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