OAKLAND, Calif. -- Oakland’s Chabot Space & Science Center introduced its new outdoor environmental educational deck, a $2 million outdoor environment for the study of both the universe and the native planet.
In addition to tools that include a polished sky mirror, camera obscuras and a heliostat to track the movement of the sun, a lab bench is equipped with stations for field drawings and rubbings, and a magnifier allows for up close viewing of plants, rocks and other natural materials. The deck also features an immersive sound observatory where visitors can listen to such aural phenomena as past earthquakes throughout the world and geysers erupting at Yellowstone National Park.
The project was designed by The Exploratorium’s Studio of Public Space in San Francisco. It augments and enhances the center’s other offerings, which comprise a trio of giant telescopes, planetarium and program offerings, including classes, workshops and events.
The deck itself, a 3,200 square-foot project, is constructed of Kebony, a sustainable modified wood that works well for outdoor environments where foot traffic is particularly heavy. Kebony was also used for benches and railing accents.
Developed in Norway, Kebony is an environmentally friendly patented technology which modifies sustainably sourced softwoods. By polymerizing the wood’s cell walls, the wood gains greatly improved durability and dimensional stability, giving it characteristics similar to those of the hardest tropical hardwood.
Chabot Space Science Center-6,Ren Dodge Photography.
Founded as an observatory in 1883, today Chabot offers visitors hands-on experiences, interactive exhibits and space related artifacts, and planetarium shows.
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