California. California Academy of Sciences

California. California Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences is the fourth volume, issued in 2010.

Like all Renzo Piano Foundation publications, it is based on previously unpublished material from the office’s archives. Sketches, drawings, documents and photos of construction work reconstruct the history of one of the world’s most important scientific bodies, through a complex account of disasters, earthquakes and continuous rebirth, until the inauguration of its new headquarters in September 2008.

In keeping with its mission to “Explore, Explain and Protect the Natural World,” the museum itself becomes the subject of naturalistic study, a container that is at the same time the content. As Renzo Piano declares, “This century has led to the discovery of the frailty of the Earth, and it is for us architects to find a new language that celebrates sustainability.” The research carried out for the project, extensively documented in this volume, led to the award of the Platinum level in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.

This volume brings together Renzo Piano’s personal account as well as the testimonies of the other figures active in this project: Bill Lacy, Patrick Kociolek, Alistair Guthrie and Paul Kephart.


Technical Information

Closed size:
28x28 cm

192 pages, printed in 4 colors + paint
Cover with double inside flap. 


ISBN code: 
978-88-6264-005-3  Italian/English 

Volume edited by

Lia Piano

Conception and development

Lia Piano and Franco Origoni with Shunji Ishida and Olaf De Nooyer

With the participation of

Renzo Piano Building Workshop – Stefania Canta, Chiara Casazza, Nicoletta Durante, Giovanna Giusto, Giovanna Langasco, Justin Lee, Marco Profumo; California Academy of Sciences – Danielle Castronovo, Daniel S. Ransom

Graphic design and layout

Franco Origoni and Anna Steiner with Roberta Cesani


Giles Watson with Catherine Chapelle, Groz Italy


Renzo Piano Foundation