--art + architecture + design--
Outrageous, hugely imaginative and utterly awe inspiring are some of the words best used to describe the Living Museum: California Academy of Sciences which is set to open in September of 2008. The structure is designed by renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano, whose other equally impressive works include the landmark modern-art museum Centre Pompidou in Paris. The $484-million structure will most likely be the largest public building ever to qualify for the U.S. Green Building Council’s “platinum” LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating. The designation, so far held by just 70 buildings worldwide, is the highest honor in green construction.
The brilliance of the structure extends to what is both inside and outside the building. Beneath the roof, museumgoers will find a natural-history museum, a planetarium, a rainforest with free-flying birds, a coral reef inhabited by 4,000 fish, and an aquarium filled with saltwater pumped in from the Pacific Ocean. But with no doubt amongst the most influential display will be the thoughtful marriage of the museum’s physical design with its educational mission.
“It’s not about dusty stuffed animals,” says executive director Greg Farrington. “It’s about human survival and living in harmony on planet Earth.”
Here is a tour inside the amazing Living Museum.