California Academy of Sciences

This Award-Winning Facility Supports Over 18 Million Scientific Specimens and 40,000 Sea and Land Mammals, Fish, and Reptiles

Key Statistics


San Francisco, CA


California Academy of Sciences


409,178 square feet

5 levels above grade


LEED Certification:

Double Platinum


Delivery Model:



Renzo Piano / Mark Cavagnero Associates / Stantec

The California Academy of Sciences located in San Francisco, CA is a ground-up, Type I, steel and concrete mixed-use museum project. The landmark cultural destination is designed by Mark Cavagnero Associates and Stantec. This CMAR project totals 409,178 square feet throughout one structure with five levels above grade. This award-winning facility is made up of exhibit spaces, specimen collections, aquarium life support, auditoriums, laboratories and education spaces, administration, retail and food service, back-of-house support, and a central utility plant.

Notably, the center houses the Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium, and Kimball Natural History Museum and supports over 18 million scientific specimens and 40,000 sea and land mammals, fish, and reptiles. The design is highlighted by a 2.5-acre living roof that is rectangular in plan but has undulating hills and valleys covered with native plants and is bordered by PV arrays integrated into a glass awning structure.

The project included all underground utility infrastructure associated with the aquarium and existing research facilities stretching over a six-acre site. Along with the new De Young Museum of Art sited across a historic landscaped concourse, the Academy anchors a revitalized and architecturally significant civic cultural complex and destination within San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Webcor self-performed concrete. This project received a rare double LEED Platinum® certification and is now recognized as the world's largest public Platinum-rated building and most sustainable museum building.


Construction is what we do best - it’s no surprise that we live and breathe every aspect of construction.

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