ACADEMY MUSEUM OF MOTION PICTURES | Los Angeles, California | 2018
Design Architects: Renzo Piano Building Workshop, with contribution to concept design by Studio Pali Fekete architects.
Executive Architects: Gensler
Original Architects: Albert C. Martin Sr. (1939)
Client: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Project Management: Paratus Group
General Contractors: Morley+Taslimi
Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano and innovative contemporary architect Zoltan Pali, the Academy Museum of Motion Picturesrevitalizes the historic 1939 Wilshire May Company Building, weaves it back into the fabric of the city, and creates a coherent arts campus that seamlessly connects with LACMA and Los Angeles’s Miracle Mile. The design fully restores the historic Wilshire and Fairfax street-front facades and includes a soaring spherical addition at the northern end of the original building.
The entire envelope of the historic building is maintained and utilized for the museum. A roof terrace with expansive views of Los Angeles and a public plaza round out the campus offering the public spaces that flow easily into immersive galleries, educational studios, film and performance theaters, and public event spaces.
Motion pictures are the most populist form of visual art and they captivate us in ways no other art forms can. For every generation they serve as a cultural, social, and political diary. Movies inspire and challenge us to see each other and the world in different and meaningful ways – often crossing ethnic, geographic, and socioeconomic lines to do so. The Academy Museum is the first museum in Los Angeles dedicated to this most influential art form.
The design’s connection of the new spherical structure to the historic Wilshire May Company building at its south end embodies the museum’s mission to link the past, present, and future. The six floors of dynamic spaces for exhibitions and programs are aimed at deepening visitors’ understanding of the movies, while providing a home for the Academy’s unparalleled permanent collections.
The 300,000-square-foot museum will be home to a new 1,000-seat Geffen Theater, bringing Los Angeles its grandest new space for experiencing film and performances. Immersive exhibition space and an educational studio establish the Academy Museum as the world’s premier institution devoted to exploring the art and science of movies and moviemaking. The main lobby level of the museum features dynamic public areas including a free introductory gallery and access to a second, 286-seat, state-of-the-art film theater offering the public a continually changing, curated repertoire of outstanding motion pictures, past and present as well as public programs and performances. The lobby connects to the outdoor public plaza and a new pedestrian walkway. The museum’s main entrance on Wilshire Boulevard facilitates easy access for pedestrians and mass transit riders.