We in SF are delighted that our new Academy of Sciences is re-opening this month. With the new De Young and SFMOMA and the Legion of Honor we are well-set as to offerings. This review describes the new building which many of us here have been watching be built these last few years.
It helps offset the news. Carter put solar panels on the White House. Reagan took them off. Solar power companies have sprung up but they needed the boost of a tax incentive. If McCain was elected, the company my son works for would definitely go under, but now with the financial crisis, the lift they need will most likely not be there, and now both sides approve off-shore oil drilling. We see who is in control, and where the money and support go, but why is not understandable to me. The Bush family makes money off oil, but why couldn't they invest a little in solar power and wind and then make money off of that.
Anyway here is something cheery to balance the news.
A Building That Blooms and Grows, Balancing Nature and Civilization
SAN FRANCISCO — Not all architects embrace the idea of evolution. Some, fixated on the 20th-century notion of the avant-garde, view their work as a divine revelation, as if history began with them. Others pine for the Middle Ages.
But if you want reaffirmation that human history is an upward spiral rather than a descent into darkness, head to the new California Academy of Sciences, in Golden Gate Park, which opens on Saturday. Designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano on the site of the academy’s demolished home, the building has a steel frame that rests amid the verdant flora like a delicate piece of fine embroidery. Capped by a stupendous floating green roof of undulating mounds of plants, it embodies the academy’s philosophy that humanity is only one part of an endlessly complex universal system.
This building’s greatness as architecture, however, is rooted in a cultural history that stretches back through Modernism to Classical Greece. It is a comforting reminder of the civilizing function of great art in a barbaric age.
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