Rising 110 feet with a 400,000 square foot area, the Lucas Museum is proposed to change Chicago’s Lakefront. Chinese architect Ma Yansong of MAD Architects proposes a great structure to house Narrative Arts, thereby, it aims to ‘tell a story’ through the user experience of the space. The structure aims to connect, inspire, and engage the community with art, nature, and social interactions. The proposed concept fuses the strength and power of man-made structures with the smoothness and flow of nature. Looking like a ‘mountain’, the opaque structure rises from the surrounding landscape, blurring the line between the two.
People occupying the museum create the pulse of the structure; they bring it to life and connect it to the city. The design is referred to as being primitive yet futuristic; its timeless spirit is drawn from the ideas of two great architects, Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe. Housing a gallery space, four theaters, an education center, and an archival space the museum is to be a place for education, culture and inspiration.Walking into the space, people will arrive on the ‘dome level’; a naturally-lit massive space. This gathering point is to act as an “urban living room” for the city; with the light coming from the top of the structure, the space is directly linked to the sky, starting off the unique user experience. According to Ma Yansong, “This space is a lobby for the museum, but also it’s a space for temporary exhibitions and events, it’s a multi-function space.” The exhibition space within the structure spreads on three levels of infinite loops creating a mesmerizing experience for the users.
The continuous stone surfaces give the structure a raw aesthetic while providing a completely opaque surface protecting the exhibits inside from unwanted external light. The continuous façade slopes down toward the ground creating a strong connection, as if the two were a continuation of each other. The building merges with nature, creating ramps, sidewalks, amphitheaters, and public green spaces. The museum explores the “relationship between nature and the urban environment.” The Lucas Museum will definitely be a timeless MAD signature.