Sunday Hidden Treasures | Valentina Cirasola | Interior Designer

Last week, one of my follower blogger challenged his audience to find some hidden photographs in our computers.
This is my contribution to photographer Jeff Sinon Sunday’s Hidden Treasure:

I found some pleasant memories in my computer photo archive of my visit to the Science Museum in San Francisco when it was just opened a couple of years ago. Renzo Piano, a modern genius Italian architect designed the building and of course I am very fond of his work.

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(All photos were taken inside the Museum of Science in San Francisco, CA by ©Valentina Cirasola and are her property)

The building is rooted in a mixture of Classical Greek and Modernism architecture.
A glass lobby allows the visitors to look steadily with curiosity or wander through the building and even see the park on the other side in the distance.

The building with the columns framing a central entry presents a classical symmetry echoing the Greek Parthenon, but the modern construction material used such as the green roof, glass walls and windows that let air escape and create a gentle breeze, are very much inline with the modernism movement of Mies van der Rohe of the early 20th century.

I saw the entire building as a sort of giant specimen case, fauna and flora sharing large exhibition spaces with their own microclimates. Particularly interesting was the vertical garden, which gave me many ideas for my future work designing landscaping for my client.

In the African Hall, I leaned how penguins get fed, a very amusing spectacle and I photographed these beautiful zebras. Too bad they ended up this way, but if they had not been there, I would have never known what a zebra looks like in life.

In one area of the Museum a giant overhead aquarium shaped in an archway surprised the visitors. All kind of fish swim together, I wonder if they know they are on display with no way out. The cat-fish I photographed looks very much made of metal to me. The peaceful lizard, frog and butterfly were kept in a tropical temperature area and boy it  was hot!!!

Green roofs serve several purposes for a building, such as absorbing rainwater, providing insulation, creating a habitat for wildlife, helping to lower urban air temperatures and mitigate the heat as in an island effect. That was the last stop of my visit of the Science Museum, it was very windy up there, but then San Francisco would not be San Francisco if it didn’t have the wind and the fog.

Among a few examples of Renzo Piano’s major work, please admire:
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France (1971–77)
Menil Collection, Houston, Texas, United States (1982–87)
Stadio San Nicola, Bari, Italy (1988–89)
International Terminal, Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Japan (1991–94)
NEMO science museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands (1997)
Beyeler Foundation Museum, Basel, Switzerland (1991–97)
Ferrari wind tunnel, Maranello, Italy (1996–98)
Maison Hermès, Tokyo, Japan (2001)
Parco della Musica, Rome, Italy (2002)
Padre Pio Pilgrimage ChurchSan Giovanni Rotondo, Italy (2004)
High Museum of Art Expansion, Atlanta, United States (2005)



Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is a trained interior designer 
in business since 1990. She is the owner and principal designer of her company: Valentina Interiors & Designs. Being Italian born and raised, Valentina’s design work has been influenced by Classicism and timeless style. She will create your everyday living with a certain luxury without taking away a comfortable living. Check out her books on



18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stefan (maxima)
    Nov 18, 2012 @ 06:40:00

    This is really interesting, Valentina,Great photos!



  2. petit4chocolatier
    Nov 16, 2012 @ 11:48:25

    Great photos!



  3. TBM
    Nov 12, 2012 @ 09:55:31

    I really need to get back to San Francisco. I’ve only been twice and for some reason I would love to live there. It will be years from now, but it is such a lovely place.



    • Valentina
      Nov 12, 2012 @ 15:55:05

      Why don’t we exchange places? I would love to live in England for a while. Any way, San Francisco is a beautiful and creative city and very close to my European origins.



  4. Green Door Hospitality
    Nov 11, 2012 @ 15:52:13

    Great photos! Look when I stumble upon pictures that I forgot that I had…what a great challenge to be part of! And thank you for the list of Renzo Piano’s work. Will need to put these on our list — and the Menil Collection being in Houston is not too far for us!



    • Valentina
      Nov 11, 2012 @ 16:52:19

      The list of projects Renzo Piano has developed in his career is very long and they are all very interesting. I have only chosen a few.
      Thank you for stopping by.



  5. Jeff Sinon
    Nov 11, 2012 @ 02:43:17

    Excellent finds Valentina! Looks like a wonderful place to visit.



  6. Amy
    Nov 11, 2012 @ 02:08:33

    This is really interesting, Valentina! I submitted a review to for your beautiful book. Glad I got the book. 🙂



    • Valentina
      Nov 11, 2012 @ 02:16:49

      Amy, I saw the review this morning, but I didn’t know who wrote it, as in place of the name shows Shopper.
      Thank you so much, I really like your review and I am glad you liked the book.
      The book is so new, it needs a little more effort on my part to show it off. Tell other people about it, if you can.
      Thanks for supporting my blog as well.



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