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California Academy of Sciences

A natural history museum with flair

  • 488K

    Square Feet

  • 1.7M

    California Plants

  • LEED

    Certified Platinum

  • San Francisco, California

    San Francisco, California

With striking architecture and green design, the California Academy of Sciences stands as a living example of cherished values

The California Academy of Sciences is one of the most innovative museum buildings today—a comprehensive project to transform the Academy’s facility in Golden Gate Park and redefine the role of natural history museums. The goal? Reconceive or recreate every aspect of the Academy’s campus including its exhibitions, research laboratories, collection areas, and educational facilities. 

Designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with Stantec Architecture, the museum stands as an embodiment of the Academy’s mission to explore, explain, and protect the natural world. Environmentally-sensitive materials and energy-efficient building strategies were employed throughout, including a living roof that provides a habitat for native wildlife. Additionally, the facility has achieved a LEED Platinum rating.

The Academy is located directly across from the Golden Gate Park concourse and the M. H. de Young Museum, designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron. The architectural dialogue between these two buildings and their unique responses to the environment furthers San Francisco’s growing role in supporting groundbreaking architecture and design.

At a Glance

  • City & County of San Francisco
Renzo Piano Building Workshop/Stantec Architecture
Urban Land Institute, 2009 Awards of Excellence Award of Excellence

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