RENZO PIANO | ACADEMY MUSEUM OF MOTION PICTURES by Norma Poindexter
The Pritzker Prize-winning, Italian architect, Renzo Piano, has done it once again! The stunning Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, owned and operated by the Motion Picture Academy who hosts the Oscars, can now be added to Piano’s brilliant, global gallery of dazzling, architectural gems. Piano magically created his latest genius design by adding a concrete and glass sphere to a 1930’s building housing a homage to the art and science of movie-making. The Academy Museum occupies the Saban Building, formerly the May Company Building, which was built on the intersection of Wilshire and Fairfax in 1939. This latest project from the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, led by Renzo Piano, was unveiled almost ten years ago in 2012, and officially opens on September 30 in Los Angeles.
The new, sculpturesque, glass Dome perches on a modern, spherical addition made out of steel and
steel-reinforced concrete, especially built for this stunning architectural creation. The shimmering glass
structure gleams with 1,500 laminated, flat glass shingles, cut into 146 different shapes by Saint-Gobain,
fabricators in Austria. Under the curving glass roof, the sprawling, expansive Dolby Family Terrace with
spectacular Hollywood Hills views rests atop the new museum containing the new 1,000 seat David
Geffen Theater, the Ted Mann Theater with a smaller more intimate design, and four floors of
innovative, immersive, temporary and permanent exhibitions. The David Geffen Theater will be used for
daily screenings and major movie events, and the smaller Ted Mann Theater will host various film
formats and multi-dimensional sound experiences. You’ll also be able to absorb this mega-motion
picture industry experience through a series of bustling studios, gourmet restaurants, delightful shops
and multiple project and educational spaces.
While outside, stroll to the spacious, picturesque, outdoor piazza surrounding the entrance to the
Dome. And on the renovated exterior, view the limestone from Austin, Texas and gorgeous tiles from
the original Italian manufacturer, which will replace a third of the 350,000 goldleaf mosaic tiles on the
cylinder fronting the building.
Embracing the future of motion picture industry, the shining new 300,000 square foot facility will be global in outlook and grounded in unparalleled collections and expertise illuminating the fascinating world of cinema. The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures will be the world’s premier institution dedicated to the art and science of movies. Let the show begin.
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures | 6067 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Photos courtesy of ©Academy Museum Foundation & Josh White