Design for George Lucas’s Narrative Art Museum Unveiled

Rendering for the new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, Chicago. Photo: MAD Architects.

The initial designs for George Lucas’s highly anticipated museum in Chicago have been released, reports designboom. Beijing-based architectural firm MAD Architects shared the first renderings of what will become the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (LMNA), home to the filmmaker’s collection of movie memorabilia and art.

When Lucas announced his museum ambitions, he sparked a bidding war with the mayors of San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago, all hoping to lure the famed director and producer to set up shop in their hometowns (see “San Francisco and Chicago Fight for George Lucas Museum,” “San Francisco and Chicago Still Wooing George Lucas Museum,” and “Los Angeles Makes Bid for George Lucas Art Museum.”)

Ultimately, Chicago, home to Lucas’s wife, Mellody Hobson, prevailed (see “George Lucas Snubs San Francisco, Picks Chicago for Art Museum“), and MAD was enlisted to design the new building (see “George Lucas Picks Architects for His Chicago Museum.”)

Despite some blow-back from football fans who currently use the space for tailgating (see “Chicago Bears Fans Vow to Stop George Lucas Museum“), plans for the new institution are now moving ahead. The initial designs released by MAD show a futuristic-looking white building, conical in shape, topped with a “floating” disk that will house a 360 degree observation deck. It is a dramatic departure from the rather staid, conventional-looking structure that was in the works when the museum was planning to make its home at San Francisco’s Crissy Field.

A rendering of the Lucas museum proposal for Crissy Field, which the Presidio Trust rejected. Photo via

A rendering of the Lucas museum proposal for Crissy Field, which the Presidio Trust rejected.
Photo via

Looming like a white mountain above the Lake Michigan waterfront, surrounded by green space, the LMNA will contain three floors of exhibition space, arranged in a continuous loop. MAD is drawing on the museum’s narrative-driven collection for inspiration, aiming to tell a story through architecture. The concept for the museum “ushers in the future of architectural design, exploring the relationship between man and nature,” according to a statement on the LMNA website.

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