Lucas Museum Follow-up

Last July I posted about the film maker George Lucas and his attempts to build a museum to house his extensive collection of narrative art. Our blog readers will remember that after failing to get approval from the city of San Francisco, Lucas tried to bring the project to Chicago. That effort also failed.  My original post ended by saying Lucas was currently considering two possible sites for his third attempt at building the museum – one in Los Angeles and another one back in San Francisco.

Since that earlier post, more details have emerged and we now have specific proposals showing what each of the two suggested buildings looks like and how the final building will be situated in its location.

Both proposed buildings are designed by the Chinese architecture firm MAD. MAD is the same company that created the Chicago museum proposal Lucas recently abandoned.

The founder and lead partner of MAD is Ma Yansong. He is a graduate of the Beijing Institute of Civil Engineering and Architecture and has a Masters Degree in Architecture from Yale University. Prior to starting MAD, Ma Yansong worked in the London office of the renowned architect Zaha Hadid.

Headquartered in Beijing, MAD’s previous projects include the Absolute Towers in Ontario, Canada, The Ordos Art & City Museum in Inner Mongolia, and the Harbin Opera House in Heilongjiang, China.

For this round of Lucas Museum proposals MAD worked on both designs at the same time. Both buildings are approximately the same size – 100,000 square feet of gallery space (30,400 square meters). Both buildings have fluid organic shapes with no exterior straight lines or right angles. Both buildings are generally low to the ground, nestling into the natural undulations of their surroundings.

Proposal for Lucas Museum in San Francisco

Proposal for Lucas Museum in San Francisco

above images:proposal for San Francisco site

The San Francisco site is on Treasure Island located halfway between San Francisco and Oakland. The island is in the early stages of a massive development push that will significantly redefine its current function and appearance. The Lucas Museum would set the tone for much of that new development. Access to the museum will be by car, ferry and water taxi.

Proposal for Lucas Museum in Los Angeles

Lucas Museum 4 – LA

above images:proposal for Los Angeles site

The Los Angeles site is in Exposition Park next to the campus of the University of Southern California. Most of this version of the museum is elevated and has an 1800 car underground parking facility. The building has extensive roof-top greenery with walking paths and seating areas.

Having his proposed museum rejected twice before has made George Lucas hesitant to commit early in the process. This time he is letting Los Angeles and San Francisco decide which city wants the museum more. That means Lucas expects the winning city to cut through all the red tape and provide him with a quick and clear path to completion. He intends to make a decision favoring one of these two locations sometime during the first half of 2017.

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