Design & Engineering of the iconic spherical shell of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, LA


  • Roman Schieber Knippers Helbig GmbH
  • Florian Meier Knippers Helbig Inc.

challenging glass


Renzo Piano Building Workshop designed a 290,000 sf museum celebrating the artistry and technology of film, becoming the world’s first museum and event space devoted to the Motion Picture. The 388 Mio USD project consist of a six story tall renovated existing building and a dome-shaped iconic new building housing a 1,000-seat theater. Both buildings are linked by several – partially suspended – bridges. The 150 ft diameter dome is a steel grid shell with cable bracing and flat, shingled glass panels on a secondary layer. The single-layered curved structural steel tubes have a diameter of 4 inches only. With an airy and weightless quality, the globe’s structure seems to dissolve into the background. The construction of the steel glass structure was completed in autumn 2019; grand opening of the museum is planned for summer 2020. Knippers Helbig was responsible for design and engineering of the structure and glazing system of spherical glazed gridshell structure from concept stage until signed and sealed drawings and calculations and was responsible for design and engineering of the bridges during Design Development.





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glass, steel, shell, structure, gridshell, engineering, spherical, cultural project, museum