Two blockbuster California buildings are set to open this week:

Renzo Piano’s California Academy of Sciences opens to the public this Saturday. We’re working on a critique of the building and another story about the unheralded team that put the project together with Renzo Piano’s firm for our October California issue. The amazing LEED Platinum structure, with its undulating Green Roof, has already received some critiques. Alan Hess, writing for the San Jose Mercury News, finds the design  “timid.” Despite praising the roof, Hess worries that it’s not well integrated into the rest of the project. As for the rest, it doesn’t manage to “draw attention to itself.” Inhabitat, meanwhile, considers the Academy a “crowning achievement of sustainable architecture.”

Meanwhile SOM’s Cathedral of Christ the Light, in Oakland, opens this Thursday. According to SOM, “With the exception of evening activities, the Cathedral is lit entirely by daylight to create an extraordinary level of luminosity.” Indeed. Douglas fir beams also help warm the interior, while glass and concrete will create a unique exterior shell. Can’t wait to see it when it opens.

Related Stories