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Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Chicago


The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is an art museum currently planned for Chicago, slated to be completed in 2018. The museum will be endowed and built with a grant from George Lucas. The Museum’s building is designed by award-winning architect Ma Yansong of MAD Architects. Chicago-based VOA is the project’s architect of record. Studio Gang Architects and SCAPE Landscape Architects are designing the landscape.

The new museum design has a 25-per cent smaller square footage, now clocking in at 300,000 square feet. The footprint has also been reduced by 40-per cent. The revised design also includes plenty of windows so that visitors can see the lake, the city and nearby parks. The museum’s cost is tagged at $300 million dollars, all paid for by George Lucas.

The design resembles a spaceship inspired by famed architects Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies Van Der Rohe — both of whom had strong ties to Chicago: a 400,000-square-foot building made from concrete and steel complete with a 360-degree-view circular observation deck and restaurants open and free to the public.

Located south of Soldier Field on an existing parking lot, the place would house a visual art center, film. The impact of the museum will be minimized by building it on existing surface parking lots, and an underground garage will be added to replace the lost parking. The new site plan also adds 4.5 acres of green space with paths and trails laced throughout, all with the goal of respecting the lakefront environment and helping the museum to blend in seamlessly with it.

Once completed, the museum will host the private art and memorabilia collection belonging to George Lucas, along with a lecture series, exhibitions on the history of cinema and the digital arts and an educational outreach program. The updated plans will now head to the city planners for approval of the museum, education center and three theaters, among other amenities.

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