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The Academy Museum is about to start the final phase of construction

Written by
Brittany Martin

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is finally taking shape. The final phase of construction—the one that will adorn the structure with that massive glass bubble—will start on June 1.

It took years to even break ground on the long-delayed project, and the Academy had to deal with complaints and lawsuits from community activists who targeted the Renzo Piano-designed dome in particular, claiming it was as an eyesore unbecoming to the neighborhood, among their concerns about traffic, parking and other issues. Once the legal wrangling and P.R. drama settled down, initial construction began in March of 2016.

Now that the May Company structure near LACMA has been gutted, and the primary Academy Museum structure is built, it is time for MATT Construction and a German glasswork specialist firm to get to work on the 130-foot orb, according to Hollywood Reporter. MATT Construction has recently worked on build-outs for the Broad, Skirball Cultural Center and the new wing of the California Science Center.

Once complete, the show-stopping sphere will be home to the 1,000-seat David Geffen Theater and the Dolby Terrace, a domed event space. The orb will connect to the May Company Building structure with what the designers describe as a curtain of glass, allowing light to stream straight into the main building (imagine a soap bubble landing on a flat surface if you’re having trouble visualizing).

Originally, the goal had been an opening date of mid-2017, but that deadline was tossed by the wayside almost a year ago. Currently, the $400 million project is scheduled to open to the public in early 2019.

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