Nature and Nurture

San Francisco's newest museum building thrusts one of its oldest institutions into the 21st century, with the latest in sustainable architecture and green technology.

BY Clay Doyle

April 06 2009 12:00 AM ET

1026 NATURE AND NURTURE 03 X390 (TIM GRIFFITH) | ADVOCATE.COM

The aquarium itself now occupies the entire basement of the new facility -- an underground, underwater fantasia of 38,000 living creatures. Twenty-five feet deep and holding 212,000 gallons of water, the Philippine Coral Reef tank is one of the deepest exhibits of live corals in the world; while the 100,000-gallon Northern California Coast tank highlights local sea life. Other exhibits include a walkway beneath a glass-bottomed Amazon lake, tanks of delicate jellyfish, a hands-on tide pool, and a swamp housing the aquarium's famous decades-old albino alligator. The rooftop viewing platform provides a close-up look at the amazing living roof.

Finally, the building, located at 55 Music Concourse Dr., also includes the Moss Room, a gourmet eatery open for lunch and dinner, offering organic local produce, seafood, and meat raised in a sustainable manner -- extending the academy's mission of protecting the natural world right to its restaurant.

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