No. 277 . 01 March 2006 
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San Francisco's New de Young

by Lisa Ashmore

With its all-encompassing copper skin and nine-story twisting ascent to an Olympian view of San Francisco's skyline, the new de Young Museum presides imperially over Golden Gate Park.

But its unseen qualities may be as remarkable as its monolithic first impression. Built near the San Andreas fault that crippled the original de Young, principal architects Fong & Chan worked with the aesthetic vision of designers Herzog & de Meuron to achieve a building that could take a seismic beating and still provide visual fireworks, including the tower with its 144-foot (44-meter) airy climb to a panoramic outlook.

Much has been written about the design's interior and exterior, but not so much on its engineering and performance. The striking skin is a quilt of about 7,200 panels manipulated and pierced to suggest light filtering through a native tree canopy. But less visible is an exceptional blend of architecture, engineering, and landscape.   >>>

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