SF Exploratorium set to open in new $300M digs

April 9, 2013 

Richard Brown sees a reflection of himself while looking into the giant mirror at the Exploratorium, an interactive science and activities museum, during a preview in San Francisco, Tuesday, April 9, 2013. The new $300 million museum is set to open April 17 at its new location along the bay with more space and new exhibits. The 330,000-square-foot museum at Pier 15 along the Embarcadero has three times more space than the previous location at the Palace of Fine Arts in the city's Marina neighborhood.

ERIC RISBERG — AP

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Exploratorium, San Francisco's interactive science and activities museum, is set to open at its new $300 million digs along the bay with more space and new exhibits, including a rain chamber that will allow people to experience past storms.

The museum held a walk-thru for members of the media Tuesday. It is scheduled to open to the public April 17.

The new, 330,000-square-foot museum at Pier 15 along the Embarcadero has three times more space than the previous location at the Palace of Fine Arts in the city's Marina neighborhood, exploratorium officials said.

The new facility includes an all-glass observatory and a gallery with views of the waterfront and city.

"This is a great way to learn about the Bay Area. It's a place to launch your visit. We actually have exhibits about the two different bridges," said Tom Rockwell, director of exhibits at the museum.

"We have exhibits that help you understand the tide and the fog and all these things that are signature elements of the San Francisco landscape. You can learn about them here and then you can go out and experience them first hand," he said.

The rain chamber is among 150 new exhibits. Visitors select a past storm and the exhibit recreates the frequency, size, and velocity of its raindrops.

Another new exhibit, also part of the museum's outdoor gallery, explores the different colors of San Francisco Bay.

"The Color of Water" consists of 32 distinct color swatches suspended above the water, allowing visitors to match the day's water color and investigate what causes it to change from day to day.

Construction on the new facility began in 2010.

 

 

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