After selling Lucasfilm and his ultra-lucrative Star Wars franchise to Disney for more than $4 billion, George Lucas is going after a few other pursuits these days — including this insanely cool-looking art museum.
Lucas has been developing plans for a Museum of Narrative Art that will eventually be built on Chicago’s lakeshore, and now the first designs from avant-garde architect Ma Yansong have been revealed. It’s not exactly the look you’d expect from Lucas’ established sci-fi aesthetic (though it does have a Cloud City vibe), but Yansong has turned in a design that looks like an Apple-designed spaceship landed on the shore.
Here’s an excerpt from Gizmodo’s description of the project, reported from the design’s debut in Chicago:
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art looks less like an art museum and more like a college campus from some imagined future: A long, stately procession of small parklets and public spaces kept in order by an organic knot of sidewalks paved in light grey stone, which rises up to become the facade of the building itself, a sinuous white mass of conical forms that house the museum, along with four theaters, an education center, archival space, and more, totaling about 400,000 square feet.
It's less of a building than a sponge, a sticky substance that curves through the lakefront and carves out buildings, parks, and sidewalks where it wants them. The idea, Ma told me today, was to turn an area that feels like a warren of parking and backstreets into useable public space. "This should be a successful public park," he said. "Right now, it's parking." It rises up to cover a parking lot and through-street, then dips down to create an outdoor amphitheater for screenings.
As expected, the museum will of course feature a few pieces from Star Wars lore — but that will only make up a small percentage of the collection. The full lineup will include everything from MAD Magazine renderings to Normal Rockwell paintings and John Tenniel’s Alice in Wonderland-inspired works.
What do you think of the design? Would you check this place out?