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California Academy of Sciences opens

The new US$500m (£271.6m) California Academy of Sciences has opened in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.

Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the main feature of the new academy building is the 2.5-acre (1.01-hectare) 'living roof', featuring 1.7 million native Californian plants and wildflowers. Built as a single 412,000sq ft (38.276sq m) structure, the site contains the Steinhart Aquarium, the Morrison Planetarium, the Kimball Natural History Museum, and a four-storey rainforest exhibition.

The academy, which was originally founded in 1853, also includes a Naturalist Centre, two restaurants and a 3D theatre, as well as a scientific archive with more than 20 million specimens. Natural materials have been used in the building's construction, including recylced denim for insulation, as part of the academy's commitment to sustainability. It is also in line to earn the highest possible rating for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

The new US$500m (£271.6m) California Academy of Sciences has opened in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the main feature of the new academy building is the 2.5-acre (1.01-hectare) 'living roof', featuring 1.7 million native Californian plants and wildflowers. Built as a single 412,000sq ft (38.276sq m) structure, the site contains the Steinhart Aquarium, the Morrison Planetarium, the Kimball Natural History Museum, and a four-storey rainforest
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