Dezeen Magazine

George Lucas hires MAD and Studio Gang for Chicago art museum

News: American film director George Lucas has appointed Beijing firm MAD and Chicago-based Studio Gang Architects to design his proposed art museum on Chicago's lakefront.

Centred around the Star Wars creator's own collection, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (LMNA) will present a history of moving images, "from illustration to cinema and digital mediums of the future", and will offer visitors an opportunity to "experience narrative art".

MAD, the firm led by Chinese architect Ma Yansong, was selected as the principal designer of the museum after impressing the judges with its innovative approach and philosophy of connecting urban spaces with natural landscapes.

"It is a gift to be able to design the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in a city so rich with architectural history," said Ma, whose past projects include a pair of curvaceous skyscrapers in Canada and a horseshoe-shaped hotel in Huzhou, China.

"I am humbled and honoured to be given this opportunity to create a timeless design that moves and inspires people just like Mr Lucas' collection," he said.

Studio Gang will design the surrounding landscape and create a bridge connecting the museum to neighbouring peninsula Northerly Island – a former airport runway that the firm has spent four years transforming into a park.

"We are excited to build upon our current work and collaborate to create a seamless transition between the museum campus and Northerly Island," said studio principal Jeanne Gang. "In keeping with the Northerly Island ethos, our design goal will be to create a combined ecological and urban habitat."

The design team will unveil their proposal later this year, with a target to complete construction in four years' time.

"We are bringing together some of the top architects in the world to ensure that our museum experience begins long before a visitor ever enters the building," said Lucas.

"I am thrilled with the architectural team's vision for the building and the surrounding green space. I look forward to presenting our design to the Chicago community."

Image of Chicago waterfront is courtesy of Shutterstock.