Exploratorium Gets New Waterfront Home

San Francisco’s famous Exploratorium science museum expands to a larger space on Pier 15 By: Adam Brown
San Francisco’s Exploratorium will have a new home on Pier 15. // (c) 2013 Exploratorium
San Francisco’s Exploratorium will have a new home on Pier 15. // (c) 2013 Exploratorium

The Details

Having closed its doors on Jan. 2, the Exploratorium, San Francisco’s legendary science museum, is set to reopen on April 17 in its new home on Pier 15. The new, two-acre space — three times larger than the property on which the Exploratorium originally stood — will allow the museum to expand both the volume and scope of its offerings. The new Exploratorium will feature displays on such subjects as human behavior and the science of sharing, as well as large outdoor exhibits and artworks.

Among the Exploratorium’s plans to feature artworks, of special note is Over the Water, a rotating program of large-scale works for public display. Every year the Exploratorium will work with a curator to select an artist and commission a piece for the museum. The first project, headed by architecture and design curator Henry Urbach will be a large engineered fog sculpture by Japanese artist Fujiko Nakaya. The sculpture, enveloping a 150-foot pedestrian bridge over the water, will debut with the opening of the property.

Originally founded in 1969 by Frank Oppenheimer, brother of Robert J. Oppenheimer, the Exploratorium represented Oppenheimer’s response to the bombing of Japan at the end of World War II and his belief that citizens must be educated and empowered to make decisions about science and technology.

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