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An Evolving Landscape

Articles: An Evolving Landscape

Springtime on the roof with Eschscholzia californica and Lupinus versicolor in bloom. Photo: Alan Good

Perched on top of a science museum housing a rainforest, a planetarium, an aquarium, an albino alligator, and some very engaging penguins, is a 2.5-acre living roof planted with local California native plants. When designing the new building in Golden Gate Park, the California Academy of Sciences was dedicated to creating a sustainable facility. The living roof reduces the facility’s heating and cooling loads and decreases both stormwater runoff and the urban heat island effect. The roof ’s iconic domes were designed  to house the indoor exhibits while the skylights and piazza introduce natural light into the aquarium reef tanks and rainforest. The steep slopes of the domes draw cool air into the piazza, the museum’s central courtyard. An outdoor public observation  deck creates a space for guests to view the roof on a more intimate level.

Access to the California Academy of Sciences roof provides opportunities for observation, testing, and ma...

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