It’s been a while since we last heard about Lucas Museum in Chicago, designed by Ma Yansong of MAD Architects. This autumn the team announced a new design version for the building, which has not yet been approved.  The first proposal, from last year, has received a lot of critics from environmental activists and has faced a few lawsuits.

Courtesy of MAD Architects

Courtesy of MAD Architects

As a result of the great attention the project drew upon itself, the design team has decided to scale down the proposal, following the same organic concept. The building is set to occupy an existing parking lot, and will incorporate an underground garage, to replace them. The building Ma Yonson has designed, is reminiscent of an elegant factory funnel, with a modern approach and a smooth, finished surface, at least that’s what we get from the renderings. The materials that will be used for the facade have not been chosen yet.

Courtesy of MAD Architects

Courtesy of MAD Architects

The center of the large “tower” will serve as a “living room”, and will function as an open space area, that can be used in a lot of ways, for example exhibitions, concerts, and other activities. The outside areas will be transformed into a park. The design for these spaces is a collaboration between Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects and Kate Orff of SCAPE. The ground floor has a close connection to the exterior, with lots of windows and open areas, at times, the nature seems to “grow” into the building.

Courtesy of MAD Architects

Courtesy of MAD Architects

This is a George Lucas’ initiative, the director of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and will host his art collection, along with other exhibitions, as “collections of popular art, from illustration to comics.”. An interesting part of the architectural program is the educational part, that aims at giving insight into the “cinematic creative process, and the boundless potential of the digital medium.” 

 

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“The Lucas Museum will support the stunning innovations of the digital age while emphasizing the same values that distinguish Chicago from other great cities: community involvement, diversity, and a commitment to excellence in art, architecture, and creativity.” – the museum team has declared on their website. It will join the existing cultural complex nearby, that includes the Field Museum , the Shedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium and the park on Northerly Island.

By Cristina Juc

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