academy Mu­seum of Mo­tion Pic­tures, by RPBW

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ar­chi­tec­tural styles and ap­proaches of­ten mix freely on Los an­ge­les’ sun-drenched boule­vards, which are lined both with icons such as frank Gehry’s Walt dis­ney Con­cert Hall, and cu­riosi­ties in­clud­ing the Chi­nese theatre and Chateau Mar­mont. a case in point is Mu­seum row on Wil­shire Boule­vard: just past La Brea tar Pits’ life-sized mod­els of mam­moths come the psy­che­delic wavy steel rib­bons of Kpf’s Petersen au­to­mo­tive Mu­seum, and the slanted sky­lights of renzo Pi­ano’s Los an­ge­les County Mu­seum of art (LACMA). the lat­est ad­di­tion to this ur­ban hodge­podge is a gi­gan­tic con­crete sphere, also by renzo Pi­ano Build­ing Work­shop, now tak­ing shape next to LACMA. set to open in late 2019, un­der the di­rec­tor­ship of Kerry Brougher, the im­pres­sive vol­ume – a state-of-the-art movie theatre – is part of the new academy Mu­seum of Mo­tion Pic­tures. Pi­ano and his team, with ex­ec­u­tive ar­chi­tect Gensler, are also ren­o­vat­ing an ad­ja­cent stream­line Moderne build­ing, for­merly a May Com­pany de­part­ment store. High­lights of the sa­ban Build­ing, as it will be known, in­clude tem­po­rary gal­leries, set to open with a ret­ro­spec­tive of Ja­panese an­i­ma­tor Hayao Miyazaki; the rolex gallery, chart­ing the evo­lu­tion of film­mak­ing post se­cond World War; and the Hurd Gallery, a 34ft-high pro­ject space that will ini­tially host an in­ter­ac­tive in­stal­la­tion by teamlab.

‘the two build­ings of the mu­seum flirt,’ says Pi­ano. Glass bridges will con­nect the ren­o­vated his­tor­i­cal struc­ture to the new sphere, in­side which a 1,000-seat theatre will show ni­trate, 16mm, 35mm and 70mm films and laser pro­jec­tions. the to­tal 300,000 sq ft com­plex, which will also fea­ture a more in­ti­mate 288-seat theatre, a restau­rant, a bou­tique and an ed­u­ca­tion stu­dio, is des­tined to be a hub for all man­ner of film-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties.

Large glass pan­els will em­brace the sphere’s up­per por­tion, and Pi­ano’s idea to light this ‘lens’ at night will con­jure a giant eye­ball look­ing sky­wards. the rea­son for the form, he says, is the film-go­ing au­di­ence: ‘in here, you sit with 999 other peo­ple, shar­ing the plea­sure of the film and each other’s pres­ence. the enor­mous screen in front is slightly curved. if you sim­ply ex­tend that, you end up with an orb.’ strate­gic slices into the orb cre­ate one of Pi­ano’s sig­na­ture pi­az­zas and, above, an open ter­race that al­lows views of the Hol­ly­wood Hills. it’s just the place to re­flect on movie magic and this new plea­sure dome’s res­o­nance within the La land­scape.

Built of pre-cast con­crete, Renzo Pi­ano’s spher­i­cal, 1,000-seat movie theatre will be con­nected to the mu­seum’s ad­ja­cent Sa­ban Build­ing with glass walk­ways

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