▶ Video: The Translucent Lucas Museum That Might Have Been


With the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art seeking its fortune out west, one of the firms that put together an idea for the Chicago version of the building has released its proposal for the public to see.

AF Asia has the scoopage on OMA’s effort which involves an elevated platform covered in a thin translucent membrane.  At night, the building’s interior lighting would make the entire structure seem to glow like a lighthouse on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Inside, a central core would have been surrounded by a four-story atrium featuring works of art, and apparently life-sized elephants and giraffes.  Like other proposals for the Lucas Museum, an emphasis would have been placed not only on people looking inward at the art, but also outward at the natural splendor and cityscape that surrounds them.

AF Asia quotes OMA:

Our proposal creates suspended galleries above the city, preserving the site below as a new urban park. The horizontal galleries and an atrium tower are enveloped in a dome-like membrane – a cloud of ETFE pillows- that establishes a sheltered, lifted sky park for the public. Lifted, the building offers 8 times the public space it occupies.

One interesting thing to look for in the renderings is the name of the museum, which OMA has as “Lucas Cultural Arts Museum” — the name it went by when it was first proposed for San Francisco.

To get a better idea of what the Dutch firm had in mind, check out the video above and the renderings below (all images courtesy of OMA).

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at chicagoarchitectureinfo@gmail.com.

Share This Post On