Will Chicago Be Home to The George Lucas Museum?

A futuristic museum may be coming to the Second City. The architects at MAD have previously received approvals from Chicago City Council members for their proposed design of the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. However, some critics of the project think it may not be the best project for Chicago.

The museum would house many of Star Wars creator George Lucas’ own collection. The goal of the Lucas Museum is to blend nature with urbanity, as it is, “…designed with native plants, the landscape also serves as a kind of narrative art that tells you stories about the lakeshore and its history.” The proposed site of the project is between Soldier Field and Lakeside Center, a spot that many have argued violates the state’s public trust doctrine and will tarnish the lakefront. Despite criticisms, MAD argues, “The museum is not an isolated object, but a spatial experience that is defined by the people who occupy and interact with it. It is a place to discover and explore, to communicate and contemplate. More than a building, it is an urban vista for social interaction, bringing people closer to each other and to nature.”

The building proposes three levels of exhibition space organized in continual loops, with an observation deck offering panoramic views of the city, park and lake, as well as an upscale restaurant, casual dining and many film and art amenities. MAD architects explain that the project will additionally provide four new acres of park-like outdoor space, electric car charging stations and an eco-park featuring a rain garden, among other environmentally friendly features.

Despite being well designed, the project is a costly one. While George Lucas will fund it at a cost of $743 million, Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan for the project requires borrowing nearly $1.2 billion, leaving many arguing that Lucas take the project elsewhere.

Image via MAD
MAD architects want visitors to feel as if they have been “transported to another world” upon visiting the museum Image via MAD
Image via MAD
The museum would feature four new acres of park-like outdoor space Image via MAD
Image via MAD
An observation deck offers panoramic views of the city, park and lake Image via MAD
A look inside the museum  Image via MAD
A look inside the museum
Image via MAD
Ariel view of proposed project site
Ariel view of proposed project site

Article Written By Mila Medonaite for Design Engine, April 27, 2016

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