- Associated Press - Friday, September 14, 2012

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.