California Academy of Sciences, Planetarium, Aquarium & Natural History Museum, San Francisco, CA

The construction of the new Academy building for the California Academy of Sciences elevates their campus into one of the world’s leading museums.

The new Academy combines innovative green architecture with inventive exhibitions that inspires its visitors to explore and protect the natural world.

The building, located in Golden Gate Park, is the world’s first and largest LEED Platinum museum, a project where renowned architect Renzo Piano focused on the sustainable green strategies. Syska, retained by Gordon H. Chong & Partners, provided customized features for the elevators, including the roof top glass elevator enclosure to meet elevator safety code.

To deliver sustainable design, the elevator systems use current technology including machine room-less elevators with energy saving, permanent, magnet motors and hydraulic elevator systems with low level contaminate vegetable-based oils in lieu of the traditional petroleum-based oil. Several of the passenger elevators complement the unique architectural design by using glass cabs that appear to descend into a 100,000-gallon aquarium providing an exciting visual experience. Other elevators allow visitors to experience the levels of a tropical rain forest as the elevators move from the rainforest canopy to the forest level.

LEED Status
LEED© Platinum

410,000 sf. Total public space: 100,000 sf

State of California

Renzo Piano Building Workshop & Gordon H. Chong & Partners

Owner’s Representative
DRY and Associates

Webcor Builders

Vertical Transportation
Hydraulics system with vegetable based oil
Machine roomless elevators