Oakland Museum of California : Michelin's recommendations
A city showpiece, this 7.7-acre cultural complex celebrates California's natural and human history and its art. In their building design, architects Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo created a series of tiered horizontal galleries around a central courtyard, overhung with terraced roof gardens. Composed solely of reinforced concrete, plate glass and wood, the building's strongly angular lines are graced by statuary and softened with flowers, shrubs and trees-including orchard varieties like olive and pear that recall the state's important agricultural roots. The museum opened in 1969 to rave reviews, with New York Times critic Ada Louise Huxtable calling it one of the most thoughtful revolutionary structures in the world.The three main departments-natural sciences, history and art-occupy the principal halls on three separate levels of the building. The Great Hall features major traveling exhibitions, art shows and temporary presentations drawn from the museum's own collections.
Opening hours :
- Open year-round Wed-Sat 10am-5pm (1st Fri 9pm), Sun noon-5pm. Guided tours week-ends 1:30pm or by appointment. Closed Jan 1, Jul 4, Thanksgiving Day, Dec 25.