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Architect's Vision: Science, Art and Landscape Converge at Exploratorium's New Location

For Immediate Release:
April 17, 2013

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Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367

Architect's Vision: Science, Art and Landscape Converge at Exploratorium's New Location

Statement from EHDD’s Marc L’Italien, Design Principal 

Marc L'Italien of EHDD, principal design architect for the Exploratorium at Pier 15The new home of the Exploratorium is where architecture, art, science and site converge.  It elevates the Exploratorium's mission as both a destination for experiential exhibits and an R&D facility that creates innovative ways to teach and learn.

Visibility, public access, and flexibility drove the planning and design. Situated midway between Ferry Plaza and Pier 39, the new Exploratorium brings to life a previously dormant stretch of the San Francisco's historic Embarcadero waterfront.

The complexity of the program – to design an ultra-flexible building to support an ever-changing array of exhibits in keeping with the Exploratorium's culture of inquiry – was matched by the challenge of rehabilitating an existing historic structure in the most energy efficient manner possible. To that end, the building takes advantage of the original pier building's natural lighting and the water of the bay for cooling, and uses materials that are both sustainable and durable enough to withstand a harsh maritime climate. The goal is for the Exploratorium to be the country's largest net zero energy museum. This, combined with the Exploratorium's reputation as a hub of innovation, will make the building an industry model for what's possible in energy efficiency.

The Fisher Bay Observatory building is an elegant two-story steel pavilion at the east end of Pier 15 that contains an open plaza and pays homage to the clean lines of Pier 15, yet stands out with its taut façade. Using fritted glass to mitigate heat gain and reduce bird strikes, the building will house the SEAGLASS Restaurant and the ticketed Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery. The Fisher Bay Observatory will undoubtedly become a destination, from which visitors can see open water, maritime traffic, Treasure Island and the Bay Bridge, wildlife, hills, and other elements, both natural and human-made.

A promenade encircling Pier 15 enables free interactive outdoor exhibits, captivating the general public and passers-by with the direct experience of the surrounding bay and the city.  Almost three times larger than its previous location at the Palace of Fine Arts, the new site enables the Exploratorium to dream big and to keep reinventing itself in unimaginable ways as it expands its programming. – Marc L’Italien, 2013

Go back to Exploratorium @ Pier 15 Press Kit table of contents

Hours of Operation & New Evening Hours
Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm;  every Thursday evening adults only (ages 18 and up) 6pm-10pm.

$29 for adults, with lower rates for SF Bay Area residents, youth, seniors, students, teachers and the disabled. Tickets available at the door and advance tickets available online at www.exploratorium.edu/visit/tickets.

Getting Here
The Exploratorium is easily accessible by public transit. Convenient parking is available nearby. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit/location-directions

About the Exploratorium
The Exploratorium is the global leader in informal learning, igniting curiosity and inspiring creativity in people of all ages. The world-renowned science museum creates original, interactive exhibits, on display at more than 1,000 science centers, museums and public spaces around the world. Dedicated to education reform in and out of the classroom, the Exploratorium is a premier professional development center for educators and a creator of award-winning educational resources. Since 1969, the Exploratorium has influenced generations of entrepreneurs, artists, scientists, teachers, students, children, museum professionals and everyday doers, reaching nearly 180 million people annually from around the globe. On April 17, 2013, the Exploratorium opened at Pier 15 in the heart of San Francisco's Embarcadero, where it will celebrate a new era of experiences that encourage critical thinking and awaken wonder for generations to come. For more information, visit www.exploratorium.edu/visit.

Pier 15
San Francisco
California 94111
(415) 528-4444 telephone

Contact Us:
Jenny Slafkosky (415) 528-4367