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The Exploratorium at Pier 15: A New Home and a Renewed Love of Learning

April 15, 2013
Kirsty Gumina

The Exploratorium, one of San Francisco’s most beloved and interactive museums, has found a new home in Pier 15 and on Friday, April 12, we got a sneak peak at the cutting-edge space during the Opening Gala reception. It goes without saying that we were blown away.

Openin Gala for Exploratorium

Full of wonderful, thought provoking exhibits – for both the young and old alike – the Exploratorium is one of the leading museums where science is presented as an interactive activity and where all are encouraged to dive in to discover, or rediscover, one’s love of learning. When the new Exploratorium opens to the public in just a two days, a quarter of the 600 exhibits will be brand new, taking inspiration from its new location on the Embarcadero and highlighting the Museum’s dedication to implementing green technologies. From top to bottom, the entire building is an architectural testament to green reforms: the roof is the second largest solar roof in the City and the pipes in the floor use water from the bay every hour to heat and cool the building.

NOpenin Gala for Exploratoriumestled among all the fascinating scientific displays, the Opening Gala proved as fun, creative and diverse as the exhibits themselves. The VIP reception was hosted in the East Gallery which was sprinkled with a wide variety of lounge furniture vignettes, from a 1970’s VW bug camp set-up complete with tie-dye and bean bags, to a charming antique, Shabby-Chic arrangement. Mingling among these vignettes, guests took in the breath-taking view of the Bay Bridge and tasted passed hors d’oeuvres such as Grilled Prawns with Tamarind and Powdered Lime, Long Braised Pork Cilantro Empanadas with Avocado Crème, as well as Spring Peas and Mint Chilled Soup Shots served in test tubes.

As the sun set over the Bay, VIP diners headed up to the Observatory for dinner. Sleek minimalist glass tables, adorned with silver branch-like placemats and illuminated “O” centerpieces – a trademark of the Exploratorium – complemented the stunning view of the San Francisco Bay. Here, invitees were treated to a delectable three course meal starting off with Maine Lobster, Gem Lettuce, Oranges, Chioggia Beets, Baby Arugula and Hearts of Palm, followed bya hearty entrée of Grilled Grass-Fed Mignon of Beef, Braised Onion and Mustard Seeds, Smoked Potato Gratin, Colossal Asparagus, and Pommery Mustard Sauce. A trio of small desserts rounded off the meal with an Almond Tuile with Fresh Raspberries, a Chocolate Mousse with Bacetti Gelato and a Financier Pyramid.

Openin Gala for Exploratorium

The excitement and exploration did not stop after dinner. More guests poured in to enjoy an energetic after party where they reveled in mouth-watering desserts, a full bar and live entertainment by Reggie Watts, Tainted Love and Capital Cities.

The doors of the revamped Exploratorium officially open on the morning of April 17th, but if you are not able to make it during business hours, be sure to stroll by Pier 15 after work on April 17th or 18th so you can catch a glimpse of a striking video installation by Obscura Digital. Whatever your schedule, definitely find a time to pay a visit to the Exploratorium to enjoy this beautiful new space andto immerse yourself in a realm of marvel and curiosity.

To find out more about the Exploratorium, please visit their website at:

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