Third Time a Charm for George Lucas Museum?

After testing the waters in San Francisco and Chicago for his proposed Museum of Narrative Art, George Lucas hopes to get lucky in California.

By Veronica Grecu

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art - Los Angeles - rendering
Lucas Museum of Narrative Art – Los Angeles – rendering

Los Angeles—It has been more than two years since Star Wars franchise creator and film director George Lucas revealed plans to create a Museum of Narrative Art, but the project is still far from becoming reality.

Though the original plan called for the museum to be constructed in Lucas’ home town of San Francisco, the project was rejected by the community, so the acclaimed film director had to look for a new location: his is choice was the Chicago lakefront. Back in 2014, Commercial Property Executive reported that a design team made up of Beijing-based MAD Architects and Studio Gang of Chicago was selected to handle Lucas’ ambitious attempt to create a place that would bring together Hollywood artifacts and digital mediums of the future. As luck would have it, Chicagoans were equally reluctant to welcome the proposed museum in their city.

The acclaimed filmmaker is now taking another chance with not one, but two competing designs for his $700 million museum—one proposal for a location at the Exposition Park in Los Angeles, and the second one for San Francisco’s Treasure Island.

Lucas Museum of Narrative Art - San Francisco - rendering
Lucas Museum of Narrative Art – San Francisco – rendering

The 270,000-square-foot futuristic structure proposed for the San Francisco location was designed by MAD’s starchitect Ma Yansong. Described as “a cross between a silvery cloud and a souped-up sports car”, the museum would be built on a 4-acre site at the south end of the Treasure Island next to a planned ferry terminal.

Also designed by Ma Yansong working with acclaimed architect Don Bacigalupi, the Los Angeles proposal would be located along Vermont Avenue in Exposition Park, forming a gateway facing 39th Street. According to the LA Times, the museum will offer between 265,000 and 275,000 square feet with roughly 100,000 square feet of space occupied by galleries. The building would also include an underground parking garage for 1,800 cars.

A final decision for Lucas’ long-awaited museum is anticipated in early 2017, the design team announced.

Renderings courtesy of MAD Architects