Construction on the final and most challenging phase of the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures—the glassy sphere some have said looks like Star Wars’ Death Star—is set to begin in June, but Variety says the museum’s construction is just limping along and far from finished. It’s already about two years behind schedule, has blasted through its original budget, and is likely to keep racking up costs, says Variety.
The budget has swollen from $250 million to $388 million, while fundraising for the project stalled for 1.5 years. Construction was originally supposed to be substantially complete by December 2017, says Variety, but that date was pushed to 2018, then pushed again. It’s now expected to be finished in April 2019.
At Fairfax and Wilshire, the museum will occupy an old 1939 May Company building, which is being redone to house exhibits. The glass and concrete sphere, designed by Renzo Piano, will be tacked onto the back of the building to hold a theater.
The 130-foot sphere is anticipated to be the most difficult part of the project, “pos[ing] complex construction challenges,” says THR. The museum’s chief operating officer told Variety the project was difficult because “Nobody’s ever built this particular thing before, including the architect that’s designing it.”