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Renzo Piano's Academy museum one step closer to reality after gaining unanimous approval from LA Planning Commission

Hollywood bigwigs look to have gained the vital stamp of approval needed to proceed with Renzo Piano's US$300m (€263.5m, £190.4m) development of Los Angeles’ Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

To be located next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), which is currently undergoing an expansion, the Academy museum has been designed by award-winning architect Renzo Piano. Contemporary architect Zoltan Pali had been working on the project but has since left due to creative differences.

Members for the Los Angeles City Planning Commission voted 6-0 in favour of the development, with an Environmental Impact Report addressing how the film museum will be run and how it will affect traffic, noise and local neighbours.

LACMA has received US$36.1m (€31.7m £23m) for a 110-year lease of a former department store on Museum land. The May Co building has historic status in the city and as part of the development, it will be restored to its former glory – to how it looked when it first opened in 1939.

The Academy museum will cover 290,000sq ft (26,940sq m) and will include exhibition galleries, a cinema, storage space for collections, educational space and an outdoor plaza to include a large Oscar statuette.

Speaking before the vote, Bill Kramer, managing director of the museum project, said that more than US$225m (€197.6m, £142.8m) has been raised toward the US$300m goal, with additional major donations still expected.

The museum has one final hurdle to jump before planning is approved, with the City Council to decide its fate next month – though the unanimous decision from the commission and lack of any public opposition is likely to carry weight with council members. Plans call for groundbreaking to occur in Q3 2015, with a completion date of late 2017.

The museum has forecast a total of 860,000 visitors on an annual basis, with 150 permanent jobs created. There had been concerns that development could be hampered after potentially explosive gas pockets were discovered under the site, but that problem has since been resolved.

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Hollywood bigwigs look to have gained the vital stamp of approval needed to proceed with Renzo Piano's US$300m (€263.5m, £190.4m) development of Los Angeles’ Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. To be located next to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), which is currently undergoing an expansion, the Academy museum has been designed by award-winning architect Renzo Piano. Contemporary architect Zoltan Pali had been working on the project but
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The Academy museum has been designed by award-winning architect Renzo Piano / Renzo Piano
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