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Like a set from a sci-fi movie, a monumental concrete-and-glass sphere—150 feet in diameter and appearing simultaneously weighty and buoyant—hovers beside the main wing of L.A.’s new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures (AMMP). It’s clearly no ordinary building addition. And on that fanciful note, architect Renzo Piano sets the scene for this homage to Hollywood’s movie industry—its on-screen and backstage artistry and technological feats—from vintage through cutting-edge.


Photo © Iwan Baan


The $482 million complex, which opened on September 30, is the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s first museum. For this venue, the organization procured an existing five-story landmark—the 1939 former May Company department store—along with the adjacent parcel, both on a 55-year lease from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), which had acquired the property in 1994. Now called the Saban Building, the May store, designed by Albert C. Martin, Sr., is a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument—and a prime example of Streamline Moderne architecture—distinctive for its gold mosaic-clad cylindrical volume on a prominent corner of “Miracle Mile,” along Wilshire Boulevard, right next door to LACMA. Here AMMP engaged Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) to adapt the 1930s building, restoring many original features while creating the spherical addition for the state-of-the-art, 1,000-seat David Geffen Theater.


Photo © Iwan Baan


That globe connects to the historic building via three enclosed bridges. “The idea of the sphere,” says RPBW project architect Jonathan Jones, “was to create an otherworldly object that transports you, as movies do.” With most of its form hovering above a pedestrian plaza, the orb was envisioned, explains RPBW partner Luigi Priano, “almost like a spaceship—levitating above the ground, as if ready to take off as soon as the movie starts.”


Photos © Iwan Baan


Photos © Iwan Baan


Photos © Iwan Baan


Cast in concrete and resting on four hefty plinths containing seismic base isolators, the orb visually dematerializes at its top, where a diaphanous steel-framed glass shell arches over a rooftop terrace. Even the theater’s external steel emergency stairs recall the scaffolding and stairway hookups of a rocket launchpad.
The separation between the 45,000-square-foot globe and 250,000-square-foot Saban Building distinguishes old from new, while opening up public outdoor space and pathways that connect to LACMA’s campus, extending its axes. (Two earlier buildings by Renzo Piano—LACMA’s Resnick Pavilion and Broad Contemporary Art Museum—are adjacent to AMMP’s site.) The spacing also makes the historic structure fully visible from the back, now a main entrance facade. There RPBW removed post-1939 additions, restored small balconies, and cleaned or replaced original stonework. The new entry plaza is a casual gathering space, with welcome shade where it passes beneath the massive sphere—but that vertically compressed zone also has a slightly daunting and oppressive quality, evoking Atlas bearing the entire weight of the world.



另外,主入口广场与原百货商店的主楼层进行无缝衔接,形成了美国影艺学院博物馆(AMMP)的西德尼·波蒂埃大堂(Sidney Poitier Grand Lobby),其中的一些画廊空间,对不买票的公众开放。尽管带有明显奥斯卡元素内涵的红地毯是该建筑反复出现的主题,但是在机械管道裸露、高高的天花板下,它的楼板和精简的结构柱仍是混凝土的。离大厅不远就是范妮(Fanny)餐厅,这家由沃尔夫冈·帕克(Wolfgang Puck)和比尔·夏特(Bill Chait)冠名的餐厅,是以演员范妮·布莱斯Fanny Brice(芭芭拉·史翠珊在1968年的传记片《妙女郎》中扮演的角色)命名。为了将阳光引入室内,伦佐·皮亚诺建筑事务所(RPBW)打开了百货商店沿着威尔夏大道的橱窗后部。并在保持萨班大厦的整体立面节奏的同时在北立面插入了五层玻璃幕墙。而街角的标志性金色“筒仓”,RPBW将其替换成了20万块来自意大利制造的金箔玻璃碎片。

在内部,沿着建筑背面,建筑师利用玻璃电梯和长自动扶梯创建了一个垂直交通的“海湾”。这些变体设计与巴黎蓬皮杜中心(Pompidou Center)充满活力的外立面自动扶梯“管道”(皮亚诺与理查德·罗杰斯Richard Rogers在1977年设计的)相比,可能看起来平淡无奇,但它们成功地构成了一个易识别、易发现的垂直交通空间。

Still, the piazza flows seamlessly into the former department store’s vast main level, now AMMP’s Sidney Poitier Grand Lobby, which includes some gallery space and is open to the nonticketed public. Beneath a high ceiling with exposed mechanicals, its floors and stripped-down structural columns are concrete—though red carpet, with its obvious Oscars connotations, is a recurrent theme elsewhere in the building. Just off the lobby is Fanny’s, a Wolfgang Puck–Bill Chait restaurant named for performer Fanny Brice (Barbra Streisand’s role in the 1968 biopic Funny Girl). Ushering daylight into the interiors, RPBW opened the backs of the department store vitrines along Wilshire Boulevard and inserted five stories of glazed curtain wall into Saban’s north elevation, while maintaining its overall rhythms. For the signature gold “silo” anchoring the street corner, RPBW replaced 200,000 of its gold-leafed glass tesserae, sourced from the original Italian manufacturer.
Inside, along the rear elevation, the architects created a vertical circulation bay with glass elevators and long escalators. Compared with the dynamic facade-mounted escalator “tubes” at Paris’s Pompidou Center (which Piano created with Richard Rogers in 1977), these versions may seem banal, but they succeed in forming a legible and easy-to-find circulation spine.


Photos © Iwan Baan


Photos © Joshua White/JW Pictures

这些画廊主要分布在三层楼中,涵盖了从服装、声音、脚本、灯光、音乐、布景到电影制作的技术和科学所有领域,甚至延伸到电影行业历史上较为黑暗的一面(比如它在麦卡锡时代或种族排斥主义中所扮演的角色)。展览的核心藏品包含了《绿野仙踪》中的红宝石拖鞋和狮子鬃毛,以及来自数十万部电影和视频遗产,其中有5万张电影海报。一条原始的人造大白鲨悬挂在流通的“海湾”上,老式的奥斯卡小金人围绕着发光的金色圆柱内装饰风格的圆形空间。再往下,就是位于萨班大厦地下,拥有288个座位的特德·曼恩(Ted Mann)剧院,游客可以从夹层通过廊桥到达大卫·格芬(Geffen)剧院。

Primarily on three floors, the galleries run the gamut from costuming, sound, scripting, lighting, music, and sets to the mechanics and science of moviemaking—even extending into darker aspects of the industry’s history (such as its role in the McCarthy era or in racial exclusionism). WHY was the exhibition designer for the core collection, which includes the Wizard of Oz’s ruby slippers and lion’s mane, and draws from hundreds of thousands of film and video assets, with 50,000 movie posters among its holdings. An original manmade Jaws shark hangs over the circulation bay, and vintage Oscar statuettes ring a glowing Deco-styled circular space within the building’s gold cylinder. While the 288-seat Ted Mann Theater is below grade in the Saban Building, visitors reach the Geffen by bridge from the mezzanine level.


Photos © Iwan Baan


Photos © Iwan Baan


The ascent into the sphere rises from compression to dramatic expansion as its red-carpeted stairs wind between an inner and outer shell, following the orb’s curve, to reach the domed, darkened, 33,700-square-foot theater, illuminated by points of light like stars overhead. The raked seating, matching the carpet’s crimson, also has an arcing configuration, and even the 66-foot-wide screen subtly curves. The venue, which has a theatrical grid for live performance, can present films in many formats, from nitrate to laser projection, and its stage accommodates a 60-piece orchestra. (But this spectacular space will not be home to future Oscars ceremonies, which require a much greater seating capacity.)


Photo © Iwan Baan


The roof deck above it is accessed from the Saban Building’s fifth floor, where the journey through the galleries and moviedom finally leads. Across from a large event space, a bridge extends to the sphere-topping, 8,600-square-foot Dolby Family Terrace. There the architectural choreography culminates with the overarching proscenium-like glass canopy framing a panoramic view—and, right on cue, the Hollywood sign appears in the distance.



建筑师:Renzo Piano Building Workshop — Renzo Piano, Mark Carroll, Luigi Priano, Daniel Hammerman, Jonathan Jones, Kerry Joyce, Paolo Pelanda
执行建筑师:Gensler — David Pakshong, Richard Stoner, Wendi Gilbert, David Shiwotsuka, Arpy Hatzikian, Andrew Robertson, Philip Vriend, Scott Severson, Youngsoo Kwon, Timothy Taylor, Brianna Seabron, Elizabeth Wendell, Greg Kromhout, Robyn Bisbee, Jessica Tracey, Ashi McMullin
顾问:Buro Happold (structural, m/e/p, lighting), Knippers Helbig (facade), KPFF Consulting Engineers (civil), Shannon & Wilson (geotechnical), Paratus Group (project manager), Atlelier Ten (LEED), WHY (exhibition design), LRM Landscape Architects
总承包商:MATT Construction
客户:Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
所有者:Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

玻璃:Permasteelisa, Walters & Wolf, Giroux Glass
钢:Plas-Tal, Washington Iron
剧院座位:Poltrona Frau, Lino Sonego
运输:Schindler, Custom Cabs
地毯和地板覆盖物:Rouse Company

Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop — Renzo Piano, Mark Carroll, Luigi Priano, Daniel Hammerman, Jonathan Jones, Kerry Joyce, Paolo Pelanda
Executive Architect: Gensler — David Pakshong, Richard Stoner, Wendi Gilbert, David Shiwotsuka, Arpy Hatzikian, Andrew Robertson, Philip Vriend, Scott Severson, Youngsoo Kwon, Timothy Taylor, Brianna Seabron, Elizabeth Wendell, Greg Kromhout, Robyn Bisbee, Jessica Tracey, Ashi McMullin
Consultants: Buro Happold (structural, m/e/p, lighting), Knippers Helbig (facade), KPFF Consulting Engineers (civil), Shannon & Wilson (geotechnical), Paratus Group (project manager), Atlelier Ten (LEED), WHY (exhibition design), LRM Landscape Architects

General Contractor: MATT Construction
Client: Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
Owner: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Size: 300,000 square feet
Project Cost: $482 million
Completion Date: September 2021

Glazing: Permasteelisa, Walters & Wolf, Giroux Glass
Dome Shades: Draper
Steel: Plas-Tal, Washington Iron
Theater Seating: Poltrona Frau, Lino Sonego
Conveyance: Schindler, Custom Cabs
Metal Doors: Seeley

Topping Slabs & Exterior Paving: Trademark
Carpet & Floor Coverings: Rouse Company




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