So there's a little tension with the architect and local critics hate the design, but plans still sail ahead for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures at Wilshire and Fairfax, on the edge of LACMA's campus. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has just released the draft environmental impact report for its movie museum with all kinds of in-depth details and renderings; plans call for the renovation and reuse of the 1939 May Company department store building, a piazza, and a new wing with a museum entrance, a giant glass sphere connected to the old building via pedestrian bridge, a 1,000-seat theater, and a 10,000-square-foot enclosed viewing deck. (See all the details of the museum's layout over here.) The Academy is also hoping to have a bunch of signs on and around the museum, and apparently intends to follow through on that idea to put an Oscar statue (in tasteful outline) on the May Company building's giant golden tower at the Fairfax/Wilshire corner.
The draft EIR says signs "may include an Oscar statuette at the Corner Tower ... in the form of an outline of the statuette's figural sculpture shape." Besides the predictable banner and canopy signs, the Academy also wants to be able to put up "[d]igital displays with still, scrolling, flashing or moving images, including video or animation ... in the Original Building storefront window displays, upper wall area of the Original Building, and along the south facade of the Sphere." (See Stanley-Kubrick-themed illustrations below.)
Architect Renzo Piano—who designed the neighboring, red-accented buildings for LACMA and has reportedly been a bit fussy on this project—also wants to remove the May Company building's 1946 addition, reconstruct the old "curvilinear northwest corner," and replace the northern side of the building with windows broken up by "bands of painted concrete." That wall would look out on a paved piazza to the north of the museum (adjacent to the huge swath of "Levitated Mass" territory), which would have seating for passers-through and for the museum cafe, and be accessible via gates from Fairfax, Sixth, and the LACMA campus.
The museum is expected to open in 2017. Here are some before-and-afters showing just how the museum will change this corner, along with some new renderings and drawings.
· A Complete Tour Through The Future Academy Movie Museum [Curbed LA]