Developer: Wilson Meany
Designer: EHDD Architecture
Size: 330,000 square feet
(31,000 sq m)
The Exploratorium, an internationally renowned museum of science, art, and human perception, reopened on April 17, 2013, introducing its new indoor and outdoor campus at Pier 15 on the San Francisco waterfront. In addition to a change of location, the environmentally friendly design incorporates a bay water heating and cooling system, rooftop photovoltaic arrays, a rainwater collection system, and high-performance glass to achieve a net-zero-energy goal. The project features a public plaza on the Embarcadero waterfront, a public lobby with a waterfront promenade, outdoor exhibits, a café, and the Exploratorium store. The museum includes six main galleries; a 200-seat theater; a life sciences laboratory; wired classrooms and laboratories; and machine, wood, and electronics shops.
The Exploratorium’s new home is the result of a historic rehabilitation of dilapidated Piers 15–17, which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the San Francisco Embarcadero National Register Historic District. The entire project is notable for the extraordinary public/private collaboration on all aspects of the entitlements, which included the coordination of the environmental review and obtaining approvals of nine governmental agencies.