Lucas Museum Gets a West Coast Makeover: Smoother, Curvier, More Elegant

The museum that Chicago cast out is homing in on a new place to put down roots.  The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has released information and renderings of the two leading proposals for its new building — one in Los Angeles, and one in San Francisco.

Both buildings retail the stark-white-and-curvy sci-fi aesthetic from the original Chicago design.  They also do what they can to simulate a building in a park, within the constraints of neighboring blocks.  The San Francisco design even addresses the water, guaranteeing that it will be the second most photographed building in that city after the Golden Gate Bridge.

Both proposals are from MAD Architects in Beijing, as was scuttled Chicago plan.

But where the two designs diverge from the Chicago plan is in height.  The Chicago museum was taller in order to provide skyline views, and also to keep the building’s footprint as small as possible.  In both of the new Los Angeles and San Francisco plans, the museum sprawls to the extent of its block, only container by existing neighboring structures.

Check out the renderings of each building below, and decide for yourself if Chicago got shafted, or dodged a bullet.

Lucas Museum Los Angeles Proposal

Rendering of the Lucas Museum proposal for Los Angeles (Courtesy of the Lucas Museum for Narrative Art)

Rendering of the Lucas Museum proposal for Los Angeles (Courtesy of the Lucas Museum for Narrative Art)

Rendering of the Lucas Museum proposal for Los Angeles (Courtesy of the Lucas Museum for Narrative Art)

Rendering of the Lucas Museum proposal for Los Angeles (Courtesy of the Lucas Museum for Narrative Art)

  • Location: Exposition Park
  • Architect: Ma Yansong
  • Architecture firm: MAD Architects
  • Building size: ~275,000 square feet
  • Galleries: ~100,000 square feet
  • Parking: 1,800 spaces
  • New green space: 6-7 acres

Lucas Museum San Francisco Proposal

Rendering of the Lucas Museum proposal for San Francisco (Courtesy of the Lucas Museum for Narrative Art)

Rendering of the Lucas Museum proposal for San Francisco (Courtesy of the Lucas Museum for Narrative Art)

Rendering of the Lucas Museum proposal for San Francisco (Courtesy of the Lucas Museum for Narrative Art)

Rendering of the Lucas Museum proposal for San Francisco (Courtesy of the Lucas Museum for Narrative Art)

  • Location: Treasure Island
  • Architect: Ma Yansong
  • Architecture firm: MAD Architects
  • Building size: ~275,000 square feet
  • Galleries: ~100,000 square feet
Editor

Author: Editor

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

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