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Los Angeles – Lucas Museum of Narrative Art by MAD, a preview

Place: Los Angeles, Country: United States
Architect: Ma Yansong, MAD Architects
http://www.i-mad.com/
Text by Riccardo Bianchini
images courtesy of MAD Architects

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The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles, image by MAD

Los Angeles – Lucas Museum of Narrative Art by MAD Architects, a preview

The eight-year old, rather troubled, history of George Lucas‘ new Museum of Narrative Art seems now a step closer to an happy ending.

After an initial proposal to create the museum in Chicago (see the Chicago project here) did not found an agreement between Lucas and the city; two alternative designs were subsequently developed by MAD Architects, the museum’s designer, aimed to move the proposed museum to California, in Los Angeles, or San Francisco.

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MAD Architects, the 2014 proposal for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago

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MAD Architects, views of the proposal for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in San Francisco

Eventually, on January 10th, 2017, it has been officially announced that the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will be built in Southern California.

The 275,000-square-foot, $1 billion, museum is planned to be located in Exposition Park, in South Los Angeles’s Promise Zone – not far from the Natural History Museum, the California Science Center, and the Memorial Coliseum -, with scheduled groundbreaking in late 2017 and completion in 2021.

Lucas Museum Los Angeles MAD elevation Inexhibit

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles, elevation, image: MAD / Inexhibit

From an architectural point of view, MAD’s design shows the distinctively fluid forms which are the hallmark of the Chinese-American practice, renowned for its futuristic building completed in China, such as their Ordos, and Wood Sculpture museums we have already covered in detail on Inexhibit.

Early images of Mad’s Lucas Museum in L.A. show some similarities to the LACMA East Campus extension designed by Peter Zumthor and currently in an advanced stage of development, such as its being an imposing curvilinear structure considerably raised over the ground.

The renderings also suggest a strong integration with the park and an intensive use of nature-inspired elements and green areas, such as an array of lawns, trails, artificial knolls, and small groves located on top of the building.

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The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Los Angeles, aerial view with the Memorial Coliseum in background, image by MAD

The museum is aimed to showcase the 10,000-piece collection of fine and popular arts of George Lucas, which also includes memorabilia from the films of legendary director and producer, including his Star Wars’ saga.

The collection’s focus is, of course, on narrative art. But, what exactly narrative art is?
Don Bacigalupi, president of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art gives us a short description of it.

“Narrative art is visual art that tells a story. It manifests itself in every kind of medium, in every culture, in every form that you can imagine”.

Therefore, don’t expect that the museum will dedicated to, say, European old master’s painting; it will be rather a vibrant – maybe questionable, yet intriguing – depiction of how visual arts can tell stories. Something that, admittedly, George Lucas knows better than possibly any other in the whole planet, and even in galaxies far, far away…

Lucas Museum Narrative Art Doug Chiang Otoh Gunga City Star Wars

Doug Chiang, Otoh Gunga City, STAR WARS™: episode I The Phantom Menace; Production painting; Acrylic on panel; © & ™ 2014 Lucasfilm Ltd; permanent collection of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art 

Lucas Museum Narrative Art Doug Norman Rockwell painting

Norman Rockwell, Couple in Rumbleseat, c. 1935, oil on canvas, permanent collection of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art 

As stated on the Lucas Museum’s website, the venue will include 100,000 square feet of gallery space, cinematic theaters, lecture halls, educational spaces and workshops, meeting rooms, a library with various lecture halls, a restaurant, a cafe, a store, underground parking for 1,800 vehicles, and about 7 acres of green areas.



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