Wednesday, September 30, 2015

George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art : Revised Renderings Released

Nearly one year after initial designs by China's Ma Yansong were unveiled to the public, refinements to the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art planned for a lakefront site in Chicago have been released.

The site will be located between Soldier Field and McCormick Place and is currently a parking lot, When MAD Architects' design was unveiled last year happened some controversy about its size and alien form. Actually it looks a bit like Imagineer John Hench early concepts for Disneyland Space Mountain, but considering that the museum will include rare memorabilia pieces from Star Wars, the "space" style of the architecture is almost logical.

In the revised design the form is basically the same, but the footprint of the museum has been trimmed by 25%, from 400,000 square feet (37,160 sm) to 300,000 square feet (27,870 sm) to apparently make more room for outdoors green spaces.

However if we look at the new renderings shown here and those from November 2014, it is hard to detect differences besides the refinement and added polish that has come with the imagery. Subtle changes are more obvious in the scale and prominence of the halo on the top of the building adhere there will be an observation deck.

The most obvious change is with the landsape, designed by SCAPE with Studio Gang Architects; and what was just some grass and trees fronting the museum is now, as you'll see on the picture below, a series of zigzagging paths leading to a raised terrace at the entrance to the building. Further, a cutaway axonometric gives an indication of how the interior would work, something that was described previously only in words.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel supports the new design but the museum apparently still has to gain the proper approvals before moving the construction begins. One impediment is a lawsuit filed by Friends of the Parks last year, which argues that the proposal violates the long-held protection of the lakefront from buildings. The usual environmental obstacles - which sometime are legitimate - but let's hope that they'll find an agreement as the museum in addition to Star Wars memorabilia's visitors will also find some from Indiana Jones. Works - if all goes well, are scheduled to start in March 2016 for an opening not before 2018.

Pictures: copyright Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

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