Owner Academy Museum Foundation
MuseumOps Team Member
Rich Cherry
Design Architect Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Executive Architect Gensler
Contractor –Phase 1 Morley + Taslimi
Contractor –Phase 2 Matt Construction
Civil Engineer Kpff Consulting Engineers
Façade Consultant Knippers Helbig
Geotechnical Engineer Shannon & Wilson, Inc.
M.E.P & Structural Buro Happold
Theater Acoustics & AV Jaffe Holden
Theater Design ARUP
Construction Cost $388 Million USD
Total Area 290,000 Sq Ft
    Architects have to dream. We have to search for our Atlantises, to be explorers, adventurers, and yet to build responsibly and well. – Renzo Piano

Designed by Renzo Piano, The Academy Museum will be the world’s premier institution dedicated to the art and science of movies—past, present, and future.

The project consists of the renovation and retrofit of the 250,000-sq-ft former May Company Building, renamed the Saban Building, and the addition of a 40,000-sq-ft spherical 1000-seat theater and rooftop terrace joined together by class bridge and with an additional theater underground.

The sphere itself sits on two 12-ft by 12-ft horizontal transfer girders, each 90 ft long, that lay across the base isolators built on top of four 8-ft by 20-ft reinforced-concrete columns, extending 10-15 ft underground to a concrete pile cap.

Rich was brought in mid-project to help make adjustments to the construction project and define and ramp up the operational plan for the museum. One of his first task, was to evaluate the existing general contractor, schedules, and budgets. Based on his recommendations, a new general contractor was selected for phase II. A change to the exhibit designer was also implemented.

Working closely with an existing owner’s rep team, Rich oversaw remaining planning, design, and construction, including all coordination with the architecture firms, general contractor, subcontractors, and other stakeholders. His efforts encompassed the following:

  • Oversaw schedule, contracting, design, and construction on the museum and theaters.
  • Reviewed and coordinated with internal museum staff on the details of systems
    • structural,
    • heating,
    • cooling,
    • plumbing,
    • electrical,
    • core,
    • security and communications,
    • telephone and data cabling, and
    • vertical transportation.
  • Responded to RFIs as to owners requirements
  • Oversaw Exhibit re-design and production coordination
  • Authorized mock-ups of design and major construction elements
  • With the owners rep team, reviewed proposals from the design team and construction manager and their sub consultants for new work added during the project.
  • Reviewed and approved the amounts due to GC and its respective subcontractors, evaluated work complete percentages as well as tracking to conform to requirements met.
  • Budget and cash flow tracking,
  • RCO evaluation,
  • Negotiation and final approval, as well as
  • Value engineering.

Working with the museum staff, Academy management, and board chairs, Rich also oversaw the following initiatives and museum departments:

  • Created budget and revenue models for the museums
  • Created a hiring plan for the museum
  • Created the most diverse team in the museum
  • Oversaw the planning, design, and staffing of museum’s operations, including:
    • operations
    • visitor services
    • ticketing
    • information technology
    • retail,
    • human resources, and
    • events