A Look Inside the California Academy of Sciences by Renzo Piano

renzo piano California academy of sciences
Inside the California Academy of Sciences (image courtesy Ethen Wood)

Life Without Buildings’ Man-On-The Street Ethen Wood stopped in to Renzo Piano’s New California Academy of Sciences, a building described by New York Times architecture critic Nicolai Ouroussoff as “a blazingly uncynical embrace of the Enlightenment values of truth and reason. Its Classical symmetry — the axial geometry, the columns framing a central entry — taps into a lineage that runs back to Mies van der Rohe’s 1968 Neue Nationalgalerie and Schinkel’s 1828 Altes Museum in Berlin and even further, to the Parthenon.” Continue reading for more museum photos—including the new Maya Lin installation—from last weekend’s members-only preview; surely the calm before the storm that will the insanely crowded public opening on Saturday.

renzo piano California Academy of Sciences
Inside the California Academy of Sciences (image courtesy Ethen Wood)

Above, a view of museum spaces merging. Standing in the Rainforest, looking down through the pond / aquarium, into the underwater tunnel below.

renzo piano California Academy of Sciences
Inside the California Academy of Sciences (image courtesy Ethen Wood)

 

maya lin california academy of sciences
Maya Lin’s Sculpture outside the California Academy of Sciences (image courtesy Ethen Wood)

The seahorse railing was preserved from the original aquarium and a double-height view of the crocodile pit.

Maya Lin’s permanent installation, Where the Land Meets the Sea, an exploration of our relationship with the landscape and the greater environment. For more information on the sculpture, check out Spark*’s story on the development of the project.

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Jimmy Stamp

Jimmy Stamp is a freelance writer, researcher, and recovering architect. He has contributed to The Guardian, Wired, Smithsonian, The Journal of Architectural Education, and many other websites and publications. His first book Pedagogy and Place: 100 Years of Architecture Education at Yale comes out in spring 2016. If you're looking for writer with a penchant for Piranesi and pop culture, or if you just want to say hi, you can find him on twitter @LifeSansBldgs or instagram or email him at jamestamp@gmail.com

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