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Museums

California Academy of Sciences

  • Client: California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco
  • 50,000 Square Feet
  • Cinnabar conceptualized, designed, fabricated, and installed 50,000 square feet of exhibits for the new California Academy of Sciences, a $488 million, 410,000-square-foot facility, which is also home to the Steinhart Aquarium and the Morrison Planetarium. This work included the East & West Galleries of the Kimball Natural History Museum; Tusher African Hall, Early Explorer’s Cove, the Naturalist Center, the Foucalt Pendulum, the Junior Lab retail store entrance, and the staff entrance gate area.
    For the East & West Gallery exhibits, Cinnabar collaborated closely with the building’s architect, Pritzker Prize-winner Renzo Piano, engineering and fabricating a unique, modular, “kit-of-parts” exhibit system. These sustainable, versatile, and robust structures can be reconfigured and utilized for years to come. The exhibits at the Academy convey their messages in an accessible, participatory and content-rich dialogue.

    The Kimball Natural History Museum exhibits focus on two of the most significant and closely linked scientific issues of our time: the evolution of life on Earth, and the continuation thereof.

    Cinnabar worked extensively with the California Academy of Sciences’ curatorial staff, collections managers, and scientists, and drew on its 150-plus years of research, its 20 million specimens, and the expertise of its many world-class scientists to produce an innovative, informative and engaging space that flows with the building’s design.

    This project won the Society for Environmental Graphic Design’s Honor Award in 2010.