Project DescriptionFROM AIA NATIONAL:
The Exploratorium is an internationally known science museum focused on hands-on exhibits of natural phenomena. They recently moved to this new location, carefully restoring the historic Pier 15 on San Francisco’s downtown waterfront. Visitors can now experience 80,000 square feet of science exhibits in the historic structure, with new cafes and event space located in the contrasting modern glazed observatory with unobstructed views of San Francisco Bay. The building also offers a theatre, more than a dozen classrooms, labs, and teacher training rooms, wood and metal workshops, two retail stores, offices, and a large outdoor plaza.
The new location has excellent connectivity to the city and includes no parking for the more than 1,000,000 visitors a year. A major new public plaza filled with exhibits and event space replaces the former parking deck between the two piers. It brings public life and energy to a formerly blank stretch of the waterfront. The design takes advantage of the original pier building’s original clerestories for daylighting, 800’ long roof for PVs, and uses the water below for baywater radiant cooling.