Calif. artwork emerges from Solyndra's bankruptcy

TERENCE CHEA
FILE - This Monday, Oct. 31, 2011 file photo shows an auction sign at the bankrupt Solyndra headquarters in Fremont, Calif. before an auction. The bankrupt solar company Solyndra has become a rallying point for conservatives who hold up the California firm as a symbol of the Obama administration's failed economic policies. Now hundreds of glass rods custom made for Solyndra solar panels have found new life as an art installation at the University of California, Berkeley. But like all things associated with Solyndra, the "SOL Grotto" exhibit has become a political target this election season. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — A small building tucked in the hills of Northern California shines with an odd, green glow from hundreds of glass tubes jutting out toward nearby bushes.

Inside, the dark wooden shed contains an undulating wall filled with the translucent rods, each like a 3-foot-long drinking straw, sucking in a cool breeze and rushing sounds from a nearby waterfall.

The work of experimental architecture is the newly opened SOL Grotto, installed at the Botanical Garden at the University of California, Berkeley.

And Republicans are making fun of it as a representation of a $528 million federal boondoggle.

The project owes its distinctive glass rods, and its name, to Solyndra, the failed solar company that received a massive federal loan before going bankrupt and becoming a favorite target for critics of President Barack Obama's energy policy.