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The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures set to open on Sept. 30 in Los Angeles

Museums

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures set to open on Sept. 30 in Los Angeles

Renzo Piano Building Workshop designed the project.


By David Malone, Managing Editor | September 27, 2021
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures sphere building
Courtesy the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

The new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is set to open on Sept. 30 at Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. Renzo Piano Building Workshop designed the project in collaboration with Gensler as the executive architect.

The 300,000-sf project combines two contrasting structures; the renovated and expanded May Company building, a 1939 Streamline Moderne landmark now dubbed the Saban Building, and a new glass-and-concrete spherical building.

The 250,000-sf Saban Building houses the Fairfax Avenue entrance and Sidney Poitier Grand Lobby, the museum’s exhibition galleries, the 288-seat Ted Mann Theater, the Shirley Temple Education Studio, the Debbie Reynolds Conservation Studio, Fanny’s restaurant and cafe, and the Academy Museum Store. The 45,000-sf sphere building houses the 1,000-seat David Geffen Theater and the Dolby Family Terrace. The museum's massive, 690-panel orb theater is balanced on four mega-column supports designed to protect the museum from earthquakes.

Academy Museum aerial view

Visitors can access the Sphere Building from the Saban Building via the Casey Wasserman Bridge at mezzanine level. The pedestrian bridge crosses over the David Geffen Theater and the Barbra Streisand Bridge on the fifth floor, which crosses over to the Dolby Family Terrace.

At the base of the sphere outside the northern entrance to the museum is The Walt Disney Company Piazza, which features dwarf southern magnolia trees and kart shrubs, California fan palms, vinca minor, Mexican fan palms, and jacaranda trees.

The Academy Museum’s 50,000 sf of gallery space will open with a series of exhibitions that honor the museum’s mission to share the history of cinema. Exhibitions will include the three-floor core exhibition Stories of Cinema, the first ever Hayao Miyazaki retrospective in North America, and other temporary exhibitions that advance the understanding, celebration, and preservation of cinema.

The Academy Museum build team comprised:

Architects: Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with Gensler

Project Manager: Paratus Group

Engineers and Consultants (in structural engineering; mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering, lighting design, environmental design, energy modeling, and IT systems): Buro Happold

The project has been awarded LEED Gold certification.

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