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Academy Museum of Motion Pictures | Renzo Piano Building Workshop + Gensler


Overview of The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures In the heart of Los Angeles, at the vibrant crossroads of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, you’ll find the world’s preeminent movie museum, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Nestled on the renowned “Miracle Mile,” this museum not only preserves the rich heritage of the former 1939 May Company department store, now christened the Saban Building, but also infuses it with new life. Celebrating its rich past while igniting new prospects, the original 1946 additions have been replaced by a striking spherical structure. Inside, the 1,000-seat David Geffen Theater and Dolby Family Terrace offer captivating Hollywood vistas.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

© Nic Lehoux

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures’s Design Concept

The revitalized campus encompasses an impressive array of amenities, spanning over 50,000 square feet of gallery space, including two state-of-the-art theaters, cutting-edge project spaces, an inviting outdoor piazza, an elevated rooftop terrace, a dynamic education studio, a delectable restaurant, and a boutique. Renzo Piano, the architect, once noted, ” The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures gives us the opportunity to honor the past while creating a building for the future—in fact, for the possibility of many futures. The historic Saban Building is a wonderful example of Streamline Moderne style, which preserves the way people envisioned the future in 1939.”

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

© Nic Lehoux

About The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures – The new structure, aptly named the Sphere Building, takes on a form that appears to ascend from the ground, evoking the eternal and imaginative journey through time and space that is synonymous with the cinematic experience. By seamlessly connecting these two distinct worlds, we’ve crafted an environment that mirrors the magic of the movies. As visitors traverse from one captivating sequence to the next, from the exhibition galleries to the film theater and the terrace, the entire journey fuses into a singular and cinematic experience.”

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

© Nic Lehoux

Project Info:
Architects: Gensler, Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Area: 98700 m²
Year: 2021
Photographs: Nic Lehoux
Manufacturers: Draper, Saflex, Zone Display Cases
Structural Engineering: Buro Happold
MEP: Buro Happold
Lighting Consultant: Buro Happold, Fisher Marantz Stone
Acoustics: Arup
Vertical Transportation: Kiran Consulting Group, HKA Elevator Consulting, Lerch Bates
Traffic Consultant: Gibson Transportation Consulting
Sustainability: Transsolar, Atelier Ten
Project Manager: Paratus Group
Interior Facade: Walter P. Moore
Hardware: Finish Hardware Technology
Facade: Knippers Helbig
Theater Consultant: Arup
Acoustics / Av: Jaffe Holden
Fire Safety: Exponent, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
Building Envelope: Simpson Gumpertz & Heger
Cost Consultant: AECOM, Stuart-Lynn Company
Restoration: John Fidler Preservation Technology
Building Maintenance: CS Caulkins
City: Los Angeles
Country: United States



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