Motion Picture Academy Unveils Museum Design

John Hill | 04.22.2013
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Scienes
©Renzo Piano Building Workshop/©Studio Pali Fekete architects/©A.M.P.A.S.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, known primarily for the Oscars, has unveiled the design for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. The museum will occupy and expand the old May Company department store building, which is located next door to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). LACMA actually owns the May Company building, which it dubbed LACMA West in 1994, but the institution and the Academy are working together to create the first museum in L.A. "dedicated to preserving, presenting, and celebrating" motion pictures.

Not surprisingly, 
the architect responsible for Academy Museum is Renzo Piano, the Pritzker Prize-winning architect from Genoa, Italy, who has directed LACMA's recent expansion. For the 290,000-sf, $300-million project, Piano, with local architect Zoltan Pali, is carving two theaters within the landmarked May Company building, and a third will be located to the rear of the building in a glass dome the architect calls a "soap bubble." Other functions include galleries, exhibition spaces, educational areas, and special event spaces. Completion of the museum is planned for 2016.