In a rare appearance for a Hollywood awards show, architecture took to the red carpet. Renderings popped up on televisions all over the country Sunday night during the 86th Academy Awards for the planned Academy Museum, designed by Renzo Piano, Hon. FAIA, and Zoltan Pali, FAIA. The project will remake the May Company building in Los Angeles.
Designed by Albert Martin and Samuel Marx, the original May Company department store building opened in 1939. An addition by the design duo came in 1946. In 1999, the building became part of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) campus and renamed LACMA West, according to the Los Angeles Conservancy. Prior to this location, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had purchased another site for the museum.
The project is expected to break ground this fall and open in 2017. The project coincides with a plan at LACMA to overhaul its campus, replacing many of the original buildings with a Peter Zumthor–designed structure that takes its design cues from the nearby La Brea Tar Pits.
Piano of Renzo Piano Building Workshop—based in Paris, New York, and Genoa, Italy—recently designed an addition to Louis Kahn's Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. Pali is the founder and design principal of SPF:architects in Culver City, Calif.
Following the television cameo, many people took to Twitter to weigh in on the project.