Cinnabar Installation Diary: The California Academy of Sciences

Herea��s a report from Jonathan Katz in San Francisco, where his company, Cinnabar, is in the process of installing new exhibits at the California Academy of Sciences. This will be a weekly diary for the next several weeks (the new Academy opens Sept. 27).

By Jonathan Katz, Executive Producer, and Jeannie Lomma, Project Manager

Project: Kimball Natural History Museum at the new California Academy of Sciences

Opening date: 27 September 2008

Cinnabar has just sent two truckloads of exhibit components to Golden Gate Park. Everything is individually labeled and wrapped in order to move smoothly through the highly orchestrated receiving logistics at the museum. Everything was designed in sections to be bolted back together once inside the double doors.

We are using aircraft cable to suspend overhead items – such as the gigantic blue whale skeleton that hangs over the California exhibits – and to stabilize the taller items, producing what the building architect, Renzo Piano, calls the “zero gravity” effect – the feeling that things are floating within the vast, open space of the facility. 

We are nearly finished with the Early Explorers Cove, an educational play area for children and families. A feature of that installation, being managed by Cinnabar art director Andrea Whittier, is the Academy Schooner,   named in honor of the eponymous real craft that sailed to the Galápagos Islands in the early 1900s on a research expedition. It returned shortly after the great earthquake of 1906 and the crew was shocked to discover that much of San Francisco had burned.

See also: 

Collaborate, Design, Engage, Succeed! An Interview with Jonathan Katz

Cinnabar Inc. Executive Produces Major Exhibits For New California Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences undertakes "Great Migration" in Anticipation of Sept 27 Re-opening