M.H. de Young Museum
Why It’s Cool: Some architects try metal cladding, but these two nail it. At the four-year-old de Young, they skip traditional glass and steel for 950,000 pounds of perforated copper, which fog hasn’t yet turned green. The brown hue of the chunky nine-story tower, which rises from palms in Golden Gate Park, suggests a Mayan temple. Rooms, too, buck convention, with plenty of non-linear surfaces for Hudson River School landscapes. And ferns brush courtyard windows, which underscores the lush setting.
How to Visit: Open Tuesday through Sunday; tickets are $10.