Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Los Angeles, CA


2021 Distinguished Chairman’s Award, Los Angeles Business Council
2015 LA Architectural Award for Design Concept, Los Angeles Business Council
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Designed by Renzo Piano, the new home for the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures showcases movie history. The project included a major renovation to the former May Company Building with a striking new spherical addition housing a 1000-seat theater. The museum also offers more than 50,000 sq ft of exhibit space, a second theater, outdoor areas, education space, a restaurant, and a store. SGH consulted on the building enclosure design and fire/life safety strategies.

Scope | Solutions

Building Enclosure. SGH assisted with the design of below-grade and plaza waterproofing, cladding, glazing, and roofing. Highlights of our work on the building enclosure include the following:

  • Investigating the condition of the existing building, recommending remedial measures, and evaluating repair options

  • Assisting with the selection and design of below-grade waterproofing, exterior wall, and roofing assemblies

  • Developing details to integrate the new addition with the existing building and address complex intersections of multiple enclosure systems

  • Providing construction phase services, including reviewing contractor submittals, observing ongoing work, performing independent inspection of below-grade waterproofing, and helping address field conditions

Fire/Life Safety. The theater’s large volume and tall story height required a creative sprinkler layout. SGH’s analysis of the sprinkler locations helped the project team obtain a variance, allowing them to deviate from the spacing and elevation requirements prescribed in NFPA 13 and work around the architectural features. Highlights of our code consulting work include the following:

  • Assessing general compliance with applicable codes and standards

  • Providing guidance on building code and fire/life safety requirements

  • Using computational fluid dynamics to evaluate the atrium smoke control system

  • Developing criteria for built-in exhibits

  • Working with the city and design team to develop the fire access strategy

  • Preparing egress code compliance diagrams, indicating egress route, occupant loads, egress width, and other relevant information

Project Contact(s)