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Watch the Exploratorium's construction process from December 2010 to November 2012 in under two minutes. Come see for yourself—doors open at Pier 15 on April 17, 2013.
Images courtesy of Ken Murphy. Music by Wayne Grim. Catch a sneak peak of our new nine-acre campus at Piers 15/17 with Building Operations Manager Chuck Mignacco. Learn about features of the building that will help us achieve our goal of becoming the largest net-zero energy use museum in the United States.
Come see for yourself—doors open at Pier 15 on April 17, 2013.
The Exploratorium’s new home has an ace up its sleeve for the next big earthquake—a single seismic joint, 300 feet long and two feet wide, will isolate the entire pier structure from the rest of San Francisco. Watch here as the bulkhead at Pier 15 is readied for the installation of the seismic joint. The waters of San Francisco Bay are making a dramatic comeback as workers slowly remove a 1950s-era paved deck from between Piers 15 and 17 on the historic Embarcadero, at the site of the Exploratorium’s new home. In early November 2011, the east bridge, dedicated to the Fries family by San Francisco philanthropist Bill Fries, was put in place, connecting the terrace of the new Pier 15 Bay Observatory building to the adjacent side of Pier 17. When the museum opens in the spring of 2013, this bridge will offer prime views of the City and the Bay. Pouring concrete is an ongoing feature of construction at the Piers. This footage, captured in July 2011, shows the well-choreographed process involved, from pumping the concrete into rebar-latticed slabs via remote-controlled overhead boom, to vibrating the concrete to get rid of air pockets, to flattening the surface using 2x4s (“screed”) and rakes (“come-along tools”), to tamping in (“jitterbugging”) bits of sand and gravel, to the final smoothing and leveling of the finished surface. This pour created an extension to the southeast apron of Pier 15, adjacent to what will become the East Gallery. Take a look at the construction at Piers 15 and 17 from a different vantage point. This past August we recorded video of the Exploratorium's new home from a boat about 100 yards off the back of the piers. A news clip by NBC on the Exploratorium's move to Pier 15 Weaving our present location with our future location. Framing of the Exploratorium's Observatory Building, the only completely new construction at at the piers, began in April 2011. Iron workers placed various sizes of steel beams in piles around the concrete base of the Observatory. Then, while a crane raised and held each beam aloft, the workers used metal spikes to line up the holes of the beams and inserted bolts, tightening them down to tie the structure together. Because the Observatory Building is less than two stories tall, the iron workers were allowed to shimmy across the beams without harnesses. Once this process was finished, the beams were plumbed and welded together. Construction of Pier 15 from March 11th through May 27th of 2011. Images courtesy of Nibbi Construction. Music by Wayne Grim.